In The News

Bad at Sports Episode 302: Lisa Freiman
Bad at Sports: Contemporary Art Talk
By DUNCAN MACKENZIE | Published: June 13, 2011
In this week’s episode Duncan talks to Lisa Freiman of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This wide-ranging discussion looks at her work with the 2011 Venice Biennial/Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, what it takes to make a relevant sculpture park, and what is up with our neighbor in the blogosphere Art Babble. Hold onto your hats it’s bound to be a bumpy ride. Lisa appears with the generous support of SAIC’s Visiting Artist Program and we thank them for their assistance. And special thanks go out to Andrea Green and Thea Liberty Nichols. Listen to the Interview

Venice Biennale 2011: Allora and Calzadilla at the American Pavilion
Bloomberg TateShots
By BEN LEWIS | Published: June 9, 2011
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have been collaborating since 1995, their work spans many mediums - sculpture, photography, performance, sound and video. In this short film, they speak about their bold installation and performance work for the American Pavilion at this years Venice Biennale. Watch the Video

U.S. Athletes Are Part of the Art at Venice Biennale
PBS Newshour
By MOLLY FINNEGAN | Published: June 9, 2011
The 2011 Venice Biennale, one of the premier art shows in the world, began welcoming visitors last weekend. Countries from around the world send specially-selected artists to the summer-long exhibition to represent their nation. Lisa Freiman, curator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is just back from Venice. She is the U.S. Commissioner this year, and in charge of our national pavilion. Read More

Art As 'Smart Power' At The Venice Biennale
By CHRISTOPHER LIVESAY | Published: June 2, 2011
For more than 100 years, artists from around the world have gone to Italy to represent their countries in the Venice Biennale — an event that's often called the Olympics of the art world. Like athletes, they prepare rigorously and eventually compete for the gold (actually the Golden Lion — the Biennale's top prize) on an international stage. Read More

Gymnasts and Art-World MVPs Turn Out for the Indianapolis Museum's Lavish U.S. Pavilion Party in Venice
By ANDREW M. GOLDSTEIN | Published: June 1, 2011
Last night in Venice the Indianapolis Museum of Art threw a gala dinner at the famed Cipriani Hotel for Allora & Calzadilla, the half-Puerto Rican, half-American duo representing the United States in the Venice Biennale in a pavilion organized by Lisa Freiman, a curator at the museum. The show, featuring Olympic athletes interacting with sculptures that critique forms of U.S. power and consumption, has generated enormous buzz both before the Biennale and during the first day of previews — and accordingly there was an A-list crowd that turned out to celebrate the endeavor. Wearing a white vintage Carolina Herrera dress, Freiman spoke to the gathered luminaries in a cavernous brick hall with the rays of a sun grandly projected against the far wall. Read More

At Venice Biennale, U.S. Pavilion Somersaults Into Play
The Daily Beast
By BLAKE GOPNIK | Published: May 31, 2011
Perfect tens, across the board. (With maybe a 7.6 from the Russian judge). If the 54th Venice Biennale were a gymnastics meet, those are the scores we'd be seeing for Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, the young Puerto Rican duo filling the American Pavilion this year. They're presenting some of the best art I've seen at any Biennale. Actually, this year's Biennale IS a gymnastics meet, thanks to these artists, and that makes them its Nadia Comaneci and Bart Connor. Read More

IMA shoots for 'Olympic' gold at Venice Biennale
Indy Star
By MARY LEE PAPPAS | Published: May 28, 2011
While Indianapolis plays host today to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the city's largest art museum is in Italy competing in a completely different sport: The 2011 La Biennale di Venezia -- or the Venice Biennale. Known as the "Olympics of the art world," the Biennale is a contemporary art exhibition and international competition in which countries send their best artists to present their works. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, representing the United States, is presenting six commissioned pieces by the Puerto Rico-based artist collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla inside the U.S. Pavilion. "The IMA prevailed over a crowded field of top museums to win the honor of representing the U.S. in the world's most prestigious contemporary art exhibition," said Maxwell Anderson, museum director and CEO. Read More

IMA represents USA at Venice Biennale
By DAVID HOPPE | Published: May 25, 2011
"This is all part of a strategy to make people nationally and internationally - and even locally - more aware of the value of the IMA and the importance of art in everyday life." Lisa Freiman, the senior curator and Chair of the Indianapolis Museum of Art's contemporary art department is sitting in an office packed to the rafters with books, planning documents and broad sheets covered with images and diagrams. At this moment, Freiman's office is an international command center. She serves as the United States commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion for the 54th Venice Biennale international art exhibition, the oldest continuous contemporary art exhibition in the world. Read More

Venice Biennale
By RICHARD LACAYO | Published: May 19, 2011
A city overrun with outsiders, Venice manages every two years to squeeze in another legion or two for the Venice Biennale, the art world's enduring multinational group grope. A city overrun with outsiders, Venice manages every two years to squeeze in another legion or two for the Venice Biennale, the art world's enduring multinational group grope. Two years ago, the U.S. pavilion devoted itself to the venerable American conceptualist Bruce Nauman, who walked away with the top prize, the Golden Lion. This year the pavilion has been offered to a pair of artists whose names are not nearly so well known, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, who work in sculpture, photography, video and performance art with a political edge. Read More

Will the U.S. Take Home the Golden Lion Again?
Published: May 16, 2011
It is, of course, premature to make such predictions, but from all indications Allora & Calzadilla's $1 million Olympics-and-geopolitics-themed installation for the U.S. pavilion is brilliantly conceived in everything from its inclusion of Olympic athletes as endurance-based performance artists to its title, "Gloria." (By the way, if ballroom dancing can be in the actual Olympic games, why not include performance art too? Marina Abramovic, at least, would look at home in a high-performance leotard.) Read More

War Machines (With Gymnasts)
New York Times
By CAROL VOGEL | Published: May 12, 2011
ON a nondescript street in Long Island City, Queens, is a mysterious gold-painted door with a drawing of a colorful tent and a sign that reads “Circus Warehouse.” Inside is a cavernous space with a flying trapeze, gymnastic rings and ropes, ballet bars and piles of thick practice mats. Read More

A Curator With a Penchant for the Collective
New York Times
By TED LOOS | Published: March 16, 2011
COMPETING to be the commissioner of the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale is like being a jockey in an artistic horse race. Each candidate chooses an artist or artists to represent the country in the festival’s international competition, and there is stiff competition from curators around the country, who have picked their own top talent. Read More

Athletes to Bring Life to Venice Biennale
New York Times
By CAROL VOGEL | Published: March 3, 2011
Putting together an exhibition in the Giardini di Castello, the lush garden that is home to the international pavilions for the Venice Biennale, is always a contest of sorts. Too little time, too many complex details, seemingly impossible logistics and the hope of getting recognized by the Biennale committee. Now it appears that the artists representing the United States — the team of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla — will be taking the notion... Read More

Striking Political Notes: A Q&A With Performance Artist Duo Allora & Calzadilla
By BEN DAVIS | Published: December 14, 2010
Until earlier this year, Allora & Calzadilla were more or less unknown to the general public, if admired by cognoscenti for their politically slanted videos and performances. That changed in September, when the duo catapulted onto the world stage following their selection as the United States' representatives for the 2011 Venice Biennale, where they will occupy... Read More

Two For One
W Magazine
By LINDA YABLONSKY | Published: November 2010
The notion that the best art can only come from a single artist working alone is something of a myth. Take the six people in the double portraits here. They actually add up to just three artists, each with two surnames: Allora & Calzadilla, Fischli and Weiss, and Elmgreen and Dragset. If that makes them sound like classic comedy teams in the Burns-Allen, Martin-Lewis, Abbott-Costello mold, it is probably no coincidence. Humor and performance play prominent roles in their art. It’s just that they’re not so visible in it. Read More

The Collaborator: Curator Lisa Freiman on Allora & Calzadilla's Provocative U.S. Pavilion for the Venice Biennale
By LUCIE ALIG | Published: November 1, 2010
It's been a big year for Lisa Freiman, chair of the contemporary department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Not only did the curator spearhead the development of the institution's new "100 Acres" sculpture park, which opened in July with eight newly commissioned outdoor artworks, but a mere two months later she secured the high-profile honor of organizing the United States pavilion in the 2011 Venice Biennale. With the U.S. State Department's rare unanimous blessing, Freiman will now oversee six on-site installations by Puerto Rico-based artists Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla that will open next summer — marking the first time an artist duo has been selected to represent the country. Read More

Who Needs Prizes? Pair of Unknowns to Represent US at Biennale
The New York Observer
By W.M. AKERS | Published: September 10, 2010
With no Olympics in 2011, patriots wishing to cheer on America will have to be content with the thrilling international competition of the 54th Venice Biennale. Whereas the State Department has traditionally sent blue chip art-stars to bear our standard—a strategy which saw Bruce Naumann bring the golden lion home to the American Pavilion in 2009—for June of next year they have chosen to present the mixed media stylings of a pair of relative unknowns: Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. So who the heck are they, and how did they snag the free Italian vacation? Read More

Artist Pair from Puerto Rico To Represent U.S. In Venice Biennial
The Wall Street Journal: Speakeasy
By KELLY CROW | Published: September 7, 2010
If the Venice Biennial is the Olympics of the contemporary art world, then the U.S. has just picked its next gold-medal contenders. Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, an artist duo based in Puerto Rico, were chosen today to represent America at next summer’s biennial. The Venice exhibition is a century-old tradition in which countries send in their best artists to exhibit in pavilions and palazzos across the city in hopes of gaining global acclaim. Read More

The United States Picks Allora & Calzadilla for the 54th Venice Biennale
By ANDREW M. GOLDSTEIN & ANDREW RUSSETH | Published: September 7, 2010
After almost a year of speculation, the Puerto Rico–based multimedia duo Allora & Calzadilla has been announced as the United States' representatives to the 2011 Venice Biennale, marking the first time that an artist pair or collective has been picked by the nation to fill the prestigious role. The selection was made by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which the U.S. State Department has entrusted to organize next year's pavilion; Lisa Freiman, the chair of the museum’s contemporary art department, has been tapped as the commissioner of the pavilion. She will also curate the presentation. Read More