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Allora&Calzadilla in Milan

There is at least one good reason to visit Milan this Fall: Fault Lines by Allora&Calzavilla, the NicolaTrussardi’s foundation exhibition curated by its director Massimiliano Gioni. Gioni is well known as the youngest director of the Biennale di Venezia (catch the train ad run to visit his Biennale in its final days – it will end on november 24th).

Every year Gioni finds a very significant forgotten place in Milan, and invites everyone to discover it again through a special exhibition of very, very contemporary art. In the past years these artists were personalities such as  Pippilotti Rist, Maurizio Cattelan, Paul MaCarthy and Tino Sehgal, the winner of the  Golden Lion at this Biennale.

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, the couple who have worked together since 1995 when they were in their  twenties, link together different elements and languages: sculpture, photoghaphy, video and performance to talk about the main contradiction of the global word.
“In our work participation and exchange begins with us. The will to communicate with another is the foundation for our collaboration and it is what keeps it functioning – that ever shifting space between two people. Through dialogue and exchange we have developed a type of practice that is interactive and expansive by its nature”.

At Palazzo Cusani, an building that is at the heart of Milan’s  history, and that of Italy too and is now a military headquarter, Allora and Calzadilla have placed performances, one site specific and a very recent work, the one presented at Documenta last year.

Entering the courtyard, you would never stop listening to the opera singers inside that huge sculpture (a rock? rubbles?). They perform passages from the most significant speeches of the twentieth century (Martin Luther King, Dalai Lama, Saddam Hussein, etc)  revealing their rethorical devices.

Going up the grand staircase a jazz trumpetist improvises on the notes of the military reveille; this performance is site specific.Upstairs in the great Radetzky hall, a pianist inside a moving piano plays Variations of Ode to joy; try then to find the right moment to pass through the twelve dancers who play Revolving Door in the next room and stay in the Sala delle Allegorie watching Raptor’s rapture, the work presented last year at Documenta in Kassel.

Spend there as much time as you want feeling hypnotized by each performance or installation or video. It might last for hours.

Giovanna Pierini

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