Tate Modern

Allora & Calzadilla

Balance of Power

19 Sep - 13 Oct 2019

Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla, Balance of Power 2007. Tate. © Allora & Calzadilla
Three performers dressed in military uniform carry out yoga ‘warrior’ poses in Balance of Power.

Puerto Rico-based artist duo Allora & Calzadilla have worked together since the 1990s. Their artworks explore wide-ranging subjects including geopolitics and power relations. They often work with professionals in other fields, such as musicians and athletes.

In Balance of Power, three uniformed performers move through a cycle of three yoga ‘warrior’ poses that combine strength, balance and tenacity. It is a recurring strategy within Allora & Calzadilla’s practice to create images that bring together seemingly disparate elements, exploring their closeness. Here, they address the meditative, spiritual and personal discipline of yoga. They combine this with the collective body of the military, under the authority of the state and intended for warfare. Balance of Power questions the distance between these military and non-military worlds. The work explores the possible meanings and roots of ‘warrior’ poses within the culture of yoga. At the same time, it anticipates the introduction of yoga and mindfulness for soldiers as part of their combat training.

Balance of Power takes place intermittently in the Tanks lobby and the Artist and Society display. In the Tanks, the performers are visible together in a formation against the raw architecture of the space. In Artist and Society, the performance creates a deliberate dialogue with the surrounding artworks. Together, they point to the role of abstract painting in the development of camouflage. They also draw attention to the role of the military in relation to protest and civil rights.​

Balance of Power is performed by Luke Bafico, Luca Bakos, Jem Bentham, Giselle Nirenberg, Dylan Spencer-Davidson, Hannah Katherine Vincent, Darcy Wallace

Curated by Dina Akhmadeeva

Supported by the Performance Activation Fund
Catherine Petitgas, Tate International Council, Tate Patrons, Tate Members

Tags: Dina Akhmadeeva, Allora & Calzadilla