Never Mind That Noise You Heard: Allora & Calzadilla in Amsterdam

Allora & Calzadilla, “Sediments Sentiments (Figures of Speech)” (2007) Stedelijk Museum

Last Friday, February 8, Never Mind That Noise You Heard, the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands by Season 4 featured artists Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, opened at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Never Mind That Noise You Heard displays recent installations and videos that consider the continuum between noise and music as a tool through which cultural, social, and political relationships can be considered. Many works in the exhibition are the outcome of Allora & Calzadilla’s investigations into militarism, war, and the inscriptions of power encoded in and through sound.

One of these pieces is Sediments Sentiments (Figures of Speech) (2007), an amorphous sculptures that consists of two white truncated forms with tunnel-like passageways. From the tunnels come the voices of opera singers performing fragments of speeches by key actors in recent political history, from Martin Luther King and the Dalai Lama to George Bush and Saddam Hussein. You can see a video of this work and fragments of the video Returning a Sound (2003) here.

Made in Vieques, Puerto Rico, Returning a Sound is the genesis of the central work of this show, a monumental sound and light installation entitled Wake Up (2007). For this piece, the artists asked trumpet players from around the world to interpret “Reveille,” the trumpet call which signals the start of the military day. The recordings are linked to a series of speakers and lights embedded within the walls dividing the space.

Other featured works include: Unrealizable Goals (2007), There Is More Than One Way to Skin a Sheep (2007), and Sweat Glands, Sweat Lands (2006).

Allora & Calzadilla – Never Mind That Noise You Heard is on view through May 5, 2008 at the Stedelijk Museum. Download the show’s brochure here.