“The Tropical Pharmacy” articulates three works in a cohesive set that has been specifically conceived for its presentation at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao’s gallery 103. This exhibition exemplifies the consistency and diversity of works made by the artists in their home island of Puerto Rico—a territory they investigate as a prism for contemporary intersections of global geopolitical, ecological, and cultural history issues.
Providing the title to the exhibition, “The Bell, the Digger, and the Tropical Pharmacy” (2013) spectacularly documents the demolition of one of the largest US-owned pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico, an event that is emblematic of the island’s highly asymmetrical political and economic framework of colonial exceptionality, defined by the reckless pace of capital flight in an “un-incorporated” territory and the low levels of corporate accountability in the exploitation of the region’s resources.
- Allora & Calzadilla The Bell, The Digger, and The Tropical Pharmacy, 2013. Courtesy the artists © Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla