February 15, 2024, through February 9, 2025

Goodman Gallery

This latest installation in the Museum’s Video Art Series, on view as part of the American galleries, features three works by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this artist partnership creates art about place, ownership, and global politics.

Allora and Calzadilla’s video Under Discussion addresses the U.S. military’s decades-long use of Vieques, Puerto Rico, as a bomb-testing site, illustrating the lasting harm to residents and their land. We see Vieques through the eyes of a man using an overturned table as a boat: this unlikely guide evokes the 1979 protests in which Puerto Rican activists used small fishing boats to confront the U.S. Navy.

Allora describes Under Discussion as “a case study of a power struggle,” a theme echoed by the other works on view. Internal Combustion (Eye of the Needle) presents a camel wearing a tractor tire at an Iranian gas station—an absurd scene that prompts reflection on oil consumption, global conflict, and the relationship between humans and nature. On the other hand, Signs Facing the Sky inscribes San Diego residents’ hidden desires on the cityscape, suggesting individuals’ agency to shape the place where they live.

This presentation of Allora and Calzadilla’s work at the Allentown Art Museum is made possible by a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges Cohort Program.

The Video Art Series is made possible by the generosity of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz.

Above: Jennifer Allora (American, b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (Cuban, b. 1971), Under Discussion (detail), 2005, color video transferred to DVD, 6 minutes 14 seconds. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with funds contributed by the members of the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art, 2006 (2006-84-1a–h). © Allora & Calzadilla, courtesy Lisson Gallery