Collaborating since 1995, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have developed an interdisciplinary, research-oriented practice that engages with questions of history, culture, and geopolitics. Their interventions use a wide range of artistic mediums, including performance, sculpture, sound, video and photography. This series of silkscreens, the artists portray certain areas in Vieques, an island off the mainland of Puerto Rico, where palm trees were planted as natural markers to signal hazardous dumping grounds. For over 60 years, the U.S Military and NATO forces executed military bombing exercises in the island, so these palm groves demarcate areas where munitions and industrial waste were deposited. Currently managed by the US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, these highly toxic sites have severe environmental and health risks for the population, which are undermined by their designation as “Conservation Zones”. The title makes reference to the military acronym for “Solid Waste Management Unit”, a comment on the bureaucratic language that often veils the conflicts of a landscape.
Image: Courtesy of the artists and kurimanzutto, Mexico City / New York
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