The U.S. Pavilion is definitely one of the most spectacular of what the Giardini part of the Biennale has to offer. Allora & Calzadilla have mixed installation, modern dance, sound and sculpture to create a story about sports, militarism, democratic struggles and bodily transformation and have called the whole piece Gloria.
Each work on its own is impressive and evokes very different feelings. Although an obvious choice, we just loved the bombastic installation in front of the entrance. The tank is powerful, in-your-face dominant but at the same time – by being upside down and transformed into a running belt – it can be seen as an ironic and sharp critique on politics and power games. The work plays with the similarities between the world of sports and military or with the Olympic games and the Biennale.
Inside the pavilion, the show continues further: a freedom statute stuffed inside a sun bed is installed in the entrance hall, in the adjoining rooms athletes perform on sculptures created from airplane seats and a huge custom made pipe organ with an functioning built-in ATM fills the back room. This interactive work called Algorithm felt like the perfect symbol for capitalism in role of global religion. As such, getting money out of the ATM has become a sacred practice, comparable to communion or confession.
We queued in the line and got €50 out of the organ… awesome experience… :-)
Unfortunately the receipt didn’t mention Allora & Calzadilla, which would have made it completely divine!