A 40,000-Pound Allora & Calzadilla Sculpture Falls From a Crane in Miami Ahead of the ICA’s Grand Opening

The massive work took a tumble while being transported to the ICA Miami's new location in the Miami Design District.

Aranguren & Gallegos's preliminary rendering of the new ICA Miami in the Design District. Photo: Aranguren & Gallegos.
Aranguren & Gallegos's preliminary rendering of the new ICA Miami in the Design District. Allora and Calzadilla's sculpture was heading to there when it fell from the transport crane. Photo: Aranguren & Gallegos.

A massive sculpture by Puerto-Rican artist-duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla was being transported on Monday morning to be installed at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami’s new location in the Design District when something malfunctioned, and the whole thing came tumbling down. The artwork was set to be installed at the ICA’s highly anticipated space which opens on December 1, a sprawling site designed by Madrid architecture firm Aranguren & Gallegos that takes up an expansive 37,500 square feet.

The collaborative duo’s work was a part of the unveiling program planned by the ICA to accompany the city’s annual Art Basel fever. But on install day, in its final lap, a cable in the crane snapped on the flatbed truck, and the sculpture crashed into the trailer and created a hole in the ground.

In an ironic twist, the street-side calamity corresponds with the artowrk’s message: The monumental sculpture titled Unspecified Promise is a critical comment on the devastation that recent hurricanes have reaped upon Puerto Rico. It was a symbolic gesture to bring this heavy burden of a work to Miami, a piece that addressed issues surrounding construction, development, and displacement.

Unspecified Promise is a two-part piece. One element is Calzadilla’s father’s rusted Caterpillar backhoe tractor and the other is a the massive boulder of mirror-smooth black granite. The two pieces are sawed in half and attached to one another. According to a local news source, the sculpture appeared to be in tact after the fall, but the sound of the fall was explosive. It has yet to be determined whether there will be any delay of the sculpture’s unveiling on December 1 at the ICA Miami. artnet News reached out to the artists’ studio asking about the condition of the sculpture, but they declined to comment.

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