The Indianapolis Museum of Art and Allora & Calzadilla are transforming the U.S. Pavilion at the 54th la Biennale di Venezia into a dynamic space for visitors with the exhibition Gloria. Gloria presents six newly commissioned works by the artistic collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla that re-present familiar symbols, forms, and actions to destabilize existing narratives around national identity, global commerce, international competition, democracy, and militarism. The six works will employ a variety of artistic practices including sculpture, performance, video, and sound elements. Three of the works will feature live performances by gymnasts and long-distance runners.
The title Gloria translates from Italian and Spanish to Glory. Gloria references military, religious, spiritual, Olympic, economic, and cultural grandeur, and points to the pomp and splendor of the national pavilions. The title also references the numerous pop songs that the female name has inspired.
The selection of Allora & Calzadilla represents a number of firsts for the United States. It is the first time a collaborative that lives and works in Puerto Rico has been selected to represent the U.S., demonstrating the complexity and richness of American identity. This choice also marks the first time the U.S. Pavilion will feature performance art, acknowledging the significance of performative practices, which have contributed to the breadth and variety of American art since the early 1960s.
The U.S. Pavilion is organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and is presented by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, which supports and manages the official United States participation at selected international exhibitions.