Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Jennifer Allora, SM '03

Artist explores the political power of music

When Jennifer Allora listens to music, she perceives more than sound qualities. In the past two years, this accomplished artist and her partner, Guillermo Calzadilla, have created several works that “examine how power, militarism, and war are encoded through sound.”

Artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla

Last year, for example, Allora and Calzadilla–whom she met in 1995 when the two studied in Florence, Italy–conceived “Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on ‘Ode to Joy’ for a Prepared Piano.” For this work, the artists cut a circular opening in the resonance box of a grand piano, providing just enough space for a pianist to stand in. The performer plays Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” while pushing the piano around.

This story is part of the March/April 2009 Issue of the MIT News magazine
See the rest of the issue
Subscribe

The performance piece was created for the Haus der Kunst (House of Art) in Munich, the former Nazi hall where Adolf Hitler delivered his infamous speeches on culture. The piece closed there last September and was presented again in January in New York’s Barbara Gladstone Gallery.

Allora and Calzadilla, whose works also include sculpture and film, have been hailed as “the shooting stars of the international art scene” by the Kunst Bulletin. Among their many awards, the duo received a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) fellowship award in 2008. They were also among the six artists short-listed for the Guggenheim Museum’s 2006 Hugo Boss Prize.

Born in Philadelphia, Allora earned her BA in 1996 at the University of Richmond in Virginia and studied in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York from 1998 to 1999. When she was applying to graduate school, she was drawn to “the way MIT mingles art with architecture and science,” she says. “I was very excited by MIT’s recognition that we can and should learn from one another.”

Since 1998, Allora’s works have been shown in galleries and museums from Korea to Puerto Rico, France to Prague, and in a variety of venues in the United States. She and Calzadilla make their home in Puerto Rico, where they live with Loba, a six-year-old fox terrier. “She’s a wonderful little dog,” Allora says. “She travels everywhere with us.”

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today
Next in MIT News
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.