Allora & Calzadilla: Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos)

Presented by Dia Art Foundation & Para La Naturaleza, Puerto Rico
September 23, 2015 – September 23, 2017

Production | Publication Grant

Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos) is a two-year commission by artists Allora & Calzadilla that exists in a limestone cave at El Convento Natural Protected Area in south Puerto Rico. Presented by Dia Art Foundation in collaboration with Para La Naturaleza (the conservation trust of Puerto Rico), the work is based off Dan Flavin’s 1965 light sculpture Puerto Rican Light (to Jeanie Blake), which consists of an arrangement of three fluorescent tubes in red, pink and yellow that intend to evoke the colors of the Caribbean island’s sunrises and sunsets. Dia will realize a new long-term installation of the work, which will bring an edition of Flavin’s sculpture from their collection to this natural site and power it via solar panels mounted to the cave’s exterior. By recontextualizing Flavin’s work and metaphorically activating it, the artists explore issues of power, representation, and postcolonial dislocation.

Through VIA Art Fund’s support, Dia Art Foundation realized a bilingual publication launching in January 2016, which serves as a critical component of the project. It consists of scholarly essays on philosophy, biosemiotics, cultural and political critique, art history, and fiction. The anthology will include 14 new texts by leading thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, Sharon Beder, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Manuel Cirauqui, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Kalevi Kull, Juan López Bauzá, Yates McKee, Timothy Morton, Molly Nesbit, Spyros Papapetros, Yasmil Raymond, Emma Stone and Michael T. Taussig, and Adrianna Campbell. The range of topics covered is far-reaching and diverse, exploring the relationship between animals and humans, the history of cave art, the role of solar power in aboriginal cultures, the poetics of displacement, the politics of electricity, the concept of “Puerto Rican-ness” and exoticized Caribbean identities, and more.

To learn more, visit Dia Art Foundation.

Images: Allora & Calzadilla, Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos), 2015, located between the municipalities of Guayanilla and Peñuelas, Puerto Rico. Courtesy of the artists.