Group exhibition at BALTIC Centre features performance work by Allora & Calzadilla
26 November 2019A new group exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK, brings together a selection of film and video, drawing, sculpture, installation and sound art that invites visitors to rethink the human position in the world, its relationship to all other life forms and to the various complex ecologies that bond beings together. ‘Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings’ presents work by 17 international artists and groups that reconsider the role of art in responding to current challenges and growing awareness of living in an environmentally fragile planet.
Allora & Calzadilla present Hope Hippo, a performance work which debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2005. Taking it's name from the translation for 'river horse', the hippopotamus represents the tradition of military monuments featuring animals – in particular, horses – around Venice. A performer sits atop the life-sized hippo, reading the day's newspapers and signalling with a whistle when a segment is found that mentions what they perceive to be an act of injustice or corruption. Formed from river mud, the hippo itself is susceptible to damage and destruction via natural forces over time. Allora & Calzadilla note "As one person’s injustice is another person’s truth, Hope Hippo plays upon the variegated values held by different members of our society."
'Animalesque' is on view until 19 April 2020. Read more about the exhibition via the BALTIC website.
Image: Installation view of Allora & Calzadilla, Hope Hippo (2005) in 'Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings' at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, 16 November 2019 - 19 April 2020 © BALTIC; photography Rob Harris.