At first encounter, Allora and Calzadilla’s light and sound installation, Wake Up, is a delightful wild goose chase around a cross-shaped intersection of fabricated, gallery-partition style corridors. A frenetic trumpet blares as colored light erupts and jumps from behind the walls in sync with the music. Curiosity drives you around to the other side and you keep going, circling the room, but each viewpoint yields the same information: the light and sound emanate from within the walls themselves.
San Juan-based artist collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla worked with trumpet players all over the world, asking them to interpret Reveille, the bugle call that signals the start of the military day. Each work is vastly different, from the straight-up bouncing roust of an enthusiastic battle call to the conceptual markings of a handwritten score. It’s a challenge to make work that makes political statements without compromising its aesthetic properties, but Allora and Calzadilla have created a straightforward imperative with conceptual weight and an invigorating and highly experiential installation.
Allora and Calzadilla
March 4-April 15
The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago