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Indianapolis Museum of Art to Present US Pavilion at Venice Biennale
Allora & Calzadilla, Under Discussion, 2005. Single channel video with Sound. 6:14. Photo: Allora & Calzadilla.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art has been selected to present the work of Puerto Rico-based artist collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla at the U.S. Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, the 54th International Art Exhibition which will be on view from June 4 through November 27, 2011. Six new works by Allora & Calzadilla will premiere at the 2011 Biennale, transforming the interior and exterior of the U.S. Pavilion into a dynamic and interactive space.

The new commissions by Allora & Calzadilla will employ a variety of artistic practices to pose important questions about the relationships among art, politics, and international identity. These multimedia works will utilize performance, sculpture, video and sound elements to highlight the role of art in framing and exploring complex social issues such as national identity, democracy, militarism, and freedom. Comprised of works developed specifically in response to the U.S. Pavilion site, the exhibition will analyze contemporary geopolitics through the lens of spectacular nationalistic and competitive enterprises such as the Olympic Games, international commerce, war, the military-industrial complex and even the Biennale itself.

“The choice of Allora & Calzadilla to represent the United States is a confirmation of the role of new voices in shaping our cultural landscape,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “It is an honor for the IMA to present the collaborative work of Allora & Calzadilla at the Venice Biennale and I’d like to thank the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State for their support in making this possible.”

“Allora & Calzadilla represent the diversity and vitality of contemporary American art and their selection is a critical historic moment for the United States,” said Lisa Freiman, Chair of the IMA’s Department of Contemporary Art and Commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. “Not only is this the first time an artist collaborative has been chosen to represent the United States at the Biennale, but it also acknowledges the significance of performative, interdisciplinary artistic practices, which have been essential to the breadth and variety of American art since the early 1960s.”

“The Department of State has long been supportive of the arts as an integral component of our foreign policy. Without the need for translation, the arts have the unique ability of helping us reach beyond differences to embrace our common humanity,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock. “In our continued efforts to reach broader audiences, the outreach programs associated with this unique interdisciplinary work will ensure that a diverse audience can benefit from and experience the creative genius of this remarkable American collaborative.”

The IMA will use its outstanding resources in new media and community outreach to provide an unprecedented variety of educational and public programming to complement Allora & Calzadilla’s exhibition in the U.S. Pavilion. Engaging audiences in Venice, Puerto Rico, Indianapolis, and beyond, programs will include social media integration, video documentation, public talks and related publications. Additionally, the IMA will organize a Teen Forum on Art and Global Dialogue, which will provide educational and visual literacy programming for a small group of underserved teens from Indianapolis, Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Venice who will engage in social networking and new media initiatives to encourage audiences to connect more deeply with the installations and foster greater public debate.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art | Venice Biennale | Maxwell L. Anderson | US Pavilion |


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