May 22, 2019 - Garage Museum of Contemporary Art - Allora & Calzadilla: Graft
May 22, 2019

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Allora & Calzadilla, Tabebuia chrysantha flowers. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

Allora & Calzadilla
May 26–December 1, 2019

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Gorky Park
9/32 Krymsky Val St.
119049 Moscow
Hours: Monday–Sunday 11am–10pm

T +7 495 645 05 20
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This summer, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will continue its series of Garage Square Commissions, which are presented in front of its Rem Koolhaas-designed home in Gorky Park, with a new project by Allora & Calzadilla, the artists’ first solo work in Russia.

Allora & Calzadilla will produce Graft, a boundary-transcending installation that recreates the blooming of delicate yellow flowers from tropical trees (Tabebuia chrysantha), scattering thousands of artificial blossoms, in various states of decay, underneath pre-existing trees across Garage Square throughout the summer and winter. The uncanny quality of the blossoms, both plausible and out of place, serves as a potent harbinger for the changing environments that humans have created.

In recent years, the Caribbean—and Allora & Calzadilla’s home of Puerto Rico in particular—has suffered from more frequent and more violently destructive hurricanes than in the past, which has resulted in critical habitat loss. The Caribbean has been systematically exploited since the days of Christopher Columbus, depleting it of much of its original flora and fauna, a situation that has only been exacerbated by rising global temperatures and extreme weather. Graft emphasizes the close link between the historic inequalities and injustices caused by colonization and their worsening due to the forces of global climate change.

The horticultural term “graft” refers to the joining together of plant parts by means of tissue regeneration, and in this way the title alludes to a symbolic graft: the transplanting of a portion of these non-native trees to the center of Moscow, recreating them in the manner of a traditional natural history museum, where artificial vegetation is used to illustrate the flora of a particular region. By throwing off normal temporal and spatial coordinates, Graft stages a rupture that can open up new sensory forms and possibilities with which to confront our entangled future.

Through an approach that is both poetic and scientific, Graft is the result of the artists’ consistent attention to the Caribbean, one of the 36 endangered biodiversity hotspots worldwide and something they describe as a “unique vantage point [from] an archipelago of paradox(es), hybridit(ies), violenc(es), and beaut(ies).” Graft also resonates with the themes examined in The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100, a major exhibition at Garage that will run parallel to the commission and explore important issues around environmentalism and ecology.

Curator: Snejana Krasteva

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
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