Abraham Cruzillegas
Past event


Artist talk: Friday, September 11 | 6:30 pm

Sunday, October 4 | 7pm
Live Improvisational Score by David J & Marcelo Radulovich
with theatrical screening of Autoconstrucción: The Film

Through his interest in autoconstrucción (“self-construction”), Abraham Cruzvillegas explores economies of the makeshift, the handmade and the recycled. His recent work gravitates toward an examination of his childhood home and the neighborhood of Ajusco, a district in the south of Mexico City founded by migrants who, like his parents, settled in what was deemed uninhabitable land in the 1960s. Ajusco’s landscape of volcanic rock is a work in process. Structures are in a constant state of transformation as materials become available and necessity dictates. The sense of ingenuity and improvisation that created this vibrant, self-reliant and politically active community is the impetus for the artist’s own exploration of the roots of his practice.

At REDCAT, Abraham Cruzvillegas continues to expand upon his interest in social organization, collaboration and exchange. For this solo exhibition, the artist presents a newly commissioned film that offers a rich portrait of Ajusco. Shot on location with non-professional actors and developed by a self-organized, guerilla-style film cooperative, the film employs an unconventional narrative without dialogue, intertwining footage of the landscape with unscripted moments of intimacy and encounter. Cruzvillegas’ film uses the predictable, mechanistic structure of early pornographic films to build a non-linear story made up of fragments that collapses the past and present—the neighborhood’s history, landscape and everyday life—as an abstract portrait.

This exhibition is accompanied by a major bilingual (English and Spanish), four-color monograph about the artist’s ongoing interest in autoconstrucción as methodology and form. The publication includes an exquisite corpse like exchange between the legendary artist, writer and activist Jimmie Durham and Cruzvillegas as well as contributions by Mark Godfrey, Clara Kim and Ryan Inouye. The publication will be available in October.

This project would not be possible without the collaboration of Rafael Ortega and Christian Manzutto.

This exhibition is made possible with generous support from Fundación/Colección Jumex, the Nimoy Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Larry Mathews and Brian Saliman, and John Rubeli. Special thanks to kurimanzutto.