While their practice is often associated with music and sound, the deafening silence of Petrified Petrol Pump (Version III) confronts the viewer with a historical acuity made possible only through the convergence of the ideological and symbolic values of its media. Similar to the ash-trapped bodies of Pompeii, fossilized skeletons of extinct animals or bygone civilizations, Allora & Calzadilla have sped up time, turning a contemporary symbol of energy into the future reliquary it may one day become. Metaphor drawn from such incongruous visual dialogues represents the very crux of their practice. As described by Allora: “Metaphor, for us, is a primary resource in questioning the limits and boundaries of all so-called truths. By means of creative combination or substitution, metaphors can produce new insights and meanings” (Jennifer Allora in interview with Carlos Motta, "Allora & Calzadilla," Bomb Magazine, Issue 109, Fall 2009). As is typical with their practice, the artists wield irony and troubling juxtapositions as a means of contributing to overwhelming global issues.
With works housed in the Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Collection, combined with being prevalent names on the biennial circuit, this artist duo has become internationally recognized for their diverse practice. Petrified Petrol Pump (Version III) epitomizes the archetype of the dichotomous, thought-provoking and often troubling juxtapositions that have propelled Allora & Calzadilla to critical acclaim.
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