Present for the first time ever in MAXXI’s spaces with a solo show specially made for the museum, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla have already been protagonists here of forays that have left their mark on our way of seeing things. Levity and complexity have always appealed to the artistic and human partnership between this couple, a partnership that first blossomed in Florence. The duo later settled in Puerto Rico, and Blackout—a collection of poetic as well as scathing works—is dedicated to the Caribbean island, ravaged by two devastating hurricanes in September 2017.
The artists’ work is a denunciation of the suffering that is the direct result of the inhabitants’ colonial exploitation, of marginalization accentuated by the fact that Puerto Rico is a United States territory that is not fully a part of the country it belongs to, of the population’s subjugation to military servitude and to endemic poverty, which have compounded, to an extreme degree, the damage caused by the climate-related disaster. By portraying a Puerto Rico forced to survive without electricity, Allora & Calzadilla seem to suggest that we ourselves are without a guiding light, without plans for a sustainable future, especially in our own latitudes.
The book contains the photographs of the works on display, two Marino Neri’s illustrations, specially drawn for the occasion, and essays by T.J. Demos, Sara Nadal Melsió and Frances Negròn Muntaner.
Authors: T.J. Demos, Sara Nadal Melsió and Frances Negròn Muntaner
Edited by Hou Hanru, Anne Palopoli
Published by Lazy Dog Press on the occasion of the exhibition Blackout. Allora & Calzadilla at MAXXI, Rome, February 16 - January 3, 2018
Book design by Bunker
Softcover, 16.5 × 24 cm, 148 pages, colour illustrations
Bilingual : Italian / English