Art fairs

Allora & Calzadilla: sonic warfare for Moore Space project

The artists have installed a concrete-grey fortification inside the gallery as an anti-war statement


Best known for their lyrical and subtly political work, artists Allora & Calzadilla have taken a new turn for their Moore Space project, which opened last night, installing a concrete-grey fortification inside the gallery as an anti-war statement. “The war machine has its own typologies of architecture,” says Jennifer Allora. “And this piece is a hybrid of the war dwelling: there’s the bunker and the cave, but also the ruins left behind by war.”

From the structure’s turrets point trumpets, not howitzers, and a constant cacophony blares forth at mind-numbingly high volumes. “Instruments like trumpets were first developed as tools of war to move soldiers,” points out Allora. (Above, Japanese Emperor Hirohito inspecting an acoustic locator array.)

The noise emanating from the bunker amalgamates dozens of pieces of music that have been used by the military, including victory songs such as “Am Adolf Hitler Platz”, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture, and pieces used by US psy-ops teams for interrogating prisoners, such as Barney the Dinosaur’s “I Love You”.

Stressing that the bunker is not modelled on any particular country’s border fortifications, Guillermo Calzadilla explains: “We used different aspects from different bunkers in different regions and different times in history. So it’s a visual montage as well as an audio montage.”

Lisson Gallery (E8) is offering two inkjet colour photographs with pencil pieces from 2004 by the artists for $6,750.