Petrified Petrol Pump, 2010

Installation view: Atopia. Migration, Heritage and Placelessness
Works from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Lima, Peru, 2017
Photo: TBA21

Fossil-filled limestone
176 x 362 x 120 cm 

Allora & Calzadilla’s artistic work often unites and collapses material elements from diverse social, geographical and cultural systems into a single object. These principals of physical and temporal displacement are illustrated through processes of sedimentation in Petrified Petrol Pump, an abandoned gasoline pump that appears to have turned into stone. Made from fossil-filled limestone, the indexes of ancient life forms that are visible throughout the sculptural body attest to the organic plenitude of the earth’s pre-history, the very life forms whose long process of anaerobic decomposition provides the material used today to generate petrol-based energy. The work’s commanding physicality establishes the gas pump as a totem of the developed world in the dawn of the 21st century; however, the outlandishness of the object simultaneously questions the values of contemporary society and the future residues of its “fuelled” culture. The work thus revolves around the confrontation between nature and consumer society, critically addressing human dependence on the condensed corpses of extinct animals for life. 
 Petrified Petrol Pump lacks branding for any specific oil company, but the model has been identified as a BP pump. Although the artists created the work before the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the catastrophe has naturally been part of discussions of the work since.


Exhibition: Der Angriff der Gegenwart / The Assault of the Present
Venue: Heiligenkreuzer Hof / University of Applied Arts Vienna 
Curator: Brigitte Felderer
December 9,  2020 - April 10, 2021
Jennifer Allora (born 20 March 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (born 10 January 1971) are a collaborative duo of visual artists who live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They were the United States Representatives for the 2011 Venice Biennale, the 54th International Art Exhibition, in 2011.
Since the beginning of their collaborative career in 1995, Allora & Calzadilla have worked in a variety of media to produce a body of work spanning sculpture, photography, performance art, sound and video.

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OTTO le gardien de l'art contemporain - FIAC 2010