Human-size sticks of chalk—each 64 inches long and approximately 120 pounds—fill Gallery 7, which has been transformed into an environment open to spontaneous mark-making. With a chalkboard spanning the walls and floor, this art installation by collaborators Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla has been presented in cities around the world, including Lima, Peru; Zapopan, Mexico; Sydney; Paris; Boston; and New York. Chalk provides a physical forum for participants to exchange ideas, evolving into a social and political portrait of the community.
Puerto Rico–based Allora & Calzadilla have collaborated since 1995, creating works that reach across sculpture, video, performance, and photography. Through their incisive practice, they engage with questions of history, culture, and geopolitics.
Curator: Victoria Sung, assistant curator, Visual Arts
We could say that the trace is our medium; at once a poetic trope and a set of material operations, the trace links presence and absence, inscription and erasure, preservation and destruction, and appearance and disappearance.
Chalk synthesizes several strands of art history—Minimalism, process art, Happenings, Conceptual art, critical public art, and performance, among others—to pose essential questions about the nature of the communication systems we build, ranging from monolithic machines to means of personal and intimate expression. At once a geological substance and writing tool, Chalk can be experienced as a place of entropy, with monumental cylinders becoming ruins, and as a place of complex social and political exchange.
—Allora & Calzadilla