Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon
Michelle White, Roberto Tejada
Yale University Press, 2021
The Puerto Rico–based collaborative duo Allora & Calzadilla created Specters of Noon as a group of seven large-scale works specifically for the Menil Collection. The ensemble is orchestrated around the idea of solar noon, a notion derived from Surrealist texts by Caillois, Césaire, and others that probe the transcultural mythology of noon—a time when shadows vanish and delirious visions momentarily reign. The works include light projections, guano, ship engines, live vocal performance, and coal. Using the Menil’s Surrealist holdings as a point of departure, Specters of Noon is infused throughout with a Caribbean perspective that addresses the instability of environmental and colonial politics; one work is a power transformer damaged in Hurricane Maria that is half-sheathed in bronze. Filled with stunning installation photography and insightful texts both commissioned and reprinted, this volume captures the spirit of Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla’s (b. 1971) deeply researched and multifaceted work.