Monday, July 11, 2011


A fascinating piece by artists duo Allora & Cazadilla featured in the U.S. pavillion at the Venice Biennial:

An innocent performance laced with political themes is what audiences will experience in Venice. The tank, from 1945 and used in the Korean War, will sit outside the pavilion. There, a USA Track & Field athlete in uniform will run for about 45 minutes on the treadmill above its right track. The associations are many: militarism, national identity, competition.

Also, check out their interview with on PBS' Art 21 show. Here is an excerpt from an interview with the couple discussing another war themed piece entitled 'Clamor:'

"What triggered this piece was our interest in how people use music or sound as a weapon—how you can have a gun made of sound that can immobilize you. Then we started getting interested in the relationship between sound or music and war. Our research opened up an enormous quantity of material related to this idea, an incredible archive of sounds related to war—from actual combat, where music was historically used to command and control troops, to more contemporary uses such as propaganda to instill patriotism.


Interestingly enough, in the history of military music, one of the ways they describe the instruments’ function on the battlefield is to create a clamor. They’d create a noise that was so unbearable for the opponent that it would actually distract them and keep them from being able to effectively fulfill their job of fighting.

It’s described by one Crusader as comprising trumpets, clarions, horns, pipes, drums, cymbals, a prodigious array creating a horrible noise and clamor. And he says they did this to excite the spirit and their courage—for the more violent the clamor became, the more bold they were for the fray.

We’re trying to reinvigorate this word, to redirect it to a new end in this exhibition. We want to talk about the global state of war of today—something that resonates with contemporary experience."

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