Half Mast\Full Mast (2010)

Half Mast\Full Mast (21 minutes) is the third in a series of short films Allora & Calzadilla have made about the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, which was controlled primarily by the U.S. Navy until 2003, when military exercises ceased and environmental remediation began. Filmed on the island, the two-channel video consists of two projected videos, one on top of the other. Each depicts a different landscape, but both share a common cinematic framing of a flagpole in the center of the image. The result of the two images together creates the appearance of one single flagpole connected between the two screens, despite the image’s otherwise obvious disjunctive backgrounds. One gymnast at a time enters one of the two screens and takes the position of a human flag. Depending on which screen the gymnasts appear, top or bottom, the flag seems to be flying at full mast or half mast, in sites that symbolically mark places of victory or setback in the island’s 60 year struggle for peace, decontamination, ecological justice, and sustainable development. Half Mast\Full Mast is preceded by Returning a Sound (2004) and Under Discussion (2005).

Allora & Calzadilla
Half Mast/Full Mast, 2010
high definition two-channel video, color, silent
21:11 minutes
U.S. Pavilion, 54th International Art Exhibition, presented by the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Courtesy of the Artists and Lisson Gallery, London; Gladstone Gallery,
New York; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Kurimanzutto Gallery, Mexico DF

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