Two video works by Puerto Rico-based artists Allora & Calzadilla are on view at MoMA PS1 as a response to the recent devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico. The presentation features Returning a Sound and Under Discussion, both set on Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico that was used by U.S. and NATO forces for military bombing exercises for over 60 years. Returning a Sound follows an activist named Homar as he traverses the demilitarized island on a moped with a trumpet welded to the muffler, while Under Discussion features a protagonist circling the island on an overturned conference table retrofitted with an engine and rudder grafted from a small fishing boat. Once scarred with bomb craters and severely contaminated, the island has now been designated a federal wildlife refuge. The videos incorporate footage of the island’s stunning landscapes as well as the residual artifacts and ruins of its military history. Both works address the history and politics of the island’s landscape in relation to its current status as a place of transitional geography.
Organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art.