Mar 29 Sep 02, 2024

Allora & Calzadilla

Graft & Penumbra
Allora & Calzadilla, Graft, 2019


Mar 29 Sep 02, 2024


Galerie 3


Installation visible dans l'exposition Masson


Jennifer Allora (1974, USA) and Guillermo Calzadilla (1971,Cuba) are a collaborative duo of visual artists who live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Through a researchbased approach, their works trace the entanglements between history, ecology, and geopolitics using a multiplicity of artistic media that include performance, sculpture, sound, video, photography, and painting.

André Masson left France for New York in March 1941. During his crossing, he stopped off in Martinique, where he stayed for three weeks. Inspired by the lush landscapes of Martinique, he created Antille, one of the masterpieces of his "American period", which encapsulates the exoticism he had discovered on his trip.
In homage to André Masson, the Centre Pompidou-Metz is pleased to present Antilia by Allora & Calzadilla. The exhibition brings together two recent major works, Graft (2019) and Penumbra (2020), centred on the Caribbean where the artists live and work. Rooted in the concrete realities of this complex archipelago, Antille's works question the way in which colonialism and ecology intersect with the construction of Empire.
The word Antille originated in the period before the European colonization of the Americas, Antilia being one of those mysterious lands which figured on the medieval charts, sometimes as an archipelago, sometimes as continuous land of greater or lesser extent, its location fluctuating in mid-ocean.
Graft is made up of thousands of yellow flowers, moulded from the blossoms of roble (Tabebuia chrysantha), a species of oak native to the Caribbean. Dotting the end of Gallery 3, overlooking Metz Cathedral, the flowers appear as if blown to the ground by the wind.The hand-painted petals arere produced in seven variations or degrees of decomposition, from freshly fallen to faded and brown. The graft alludes to the environmental changes that have been triggered by the combined effects of colonial exploitation and climate change. The systematic depletion of the Caribbean's flora and fauna is one of the main legacies of colonisation. Nevertheless, the region remains one of the thirty-six biodiversity hotspots, areas that are home to almost 60% of the planet's species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, but which represent only 2.4% of the earth's surface. In their plastic and artificial immobility, Graft's flowers reflect this fragile ecological situation.
Accompanying this work is Penumbra (2020) a sonic landscape based on a found recording of insects in the Absalon Valley of Martinique from 1941. This tropical forest was the site of a series of now-mythic hikes that took place the same year with Suzanne and Aimé Césaire (the Martinican anticolonial poets, theoreticians, and founders of the literary journal Tropiques) and a group of artists and intellectuals fleeing Nazi-occupied France, whose boat had temporarily docked at the West Indian port of Fortde-France. The refugees included André Masson, Helena Benitez, André Breton, Wifredo Lam, Jacqueline Lamba, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Victor Serge, among others.
For the soundscape the artists worked with Grammy-awardwinning and Oscar-nominated composer David Lang to create a composition in violin which recreates the found sound tract of insects using violinist Giuseppe Tartini combination tone method, also known as “shadow tones” a psycho-acoustic phenomenon perceived when two real tones create the semblance of a third.

Guided tours

Jun 08 Aug 23, 2024

Maxi-Visite guidée

André Masson. Il n’y a pas de monde achevé
  • Galerie 2
  • Duration: 120'