Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla's films focus on contested sites and simple, found objects to comment on some of the social, environmental and political issues dominating our times. Their interest in mapping boundaries took the artists to Vieques, Puerto Rico, an island used for 60 years by the US Navy and NATO forces for warfare training.
The land changed ownership when the civil disobedience movement succeeded in removing the navy from the island in 2003, yet it remains Under Discussion. This is the title of their film which sees a local fisherman and activist literally turn a discussion table upside down, transform it into a boat, and drive it along the coast where the land is still being contested.
The artists inject the everyday with both the poetic and the political is reflected in Returning a Sound, 2004, as a trumpet is attached to the exhaust pipe of a motorcycle, celebrating the end of the US navy presence with a military instrument. Their emphasis on recycled objects celebrates a culture of expediency when in Sweat Glands, Sweat Lands, 2006, a pig is roasted over a fire by having the spit attached to the back wheel of a disused car. Amphibious, 2005, follows a group of turtles riding on top of a log as they travel down the water currents from a river to the open sea, undisturbed by the noisy bustle of human traffic that surrounds them.