Kunsthaus Zürich presents the first solo exhibition by Abraham Cruzvillegas
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Kunsthaus Zürich presents the first solo exhibition by Abraham Cruzvillegas
Abraham Cruzvillegas, Blind self portrait listening to Arsenio Rodríguez singing ‚Dame un Cachito Pa‘ Huelé‘ as I walk back to the ice cream shop to buy half a liter of mamey sorbet after reading ‚The Andy Warhol diaries‘ and before going for lunch with the little black dragonness and the wild mutton baby, very probably waiting half an hour to get a table at Niko‘s, 2015, 298 elements, acrylic paint on paper, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion, © Abraham Cruzvillegas.

ZURICH.- Art as expression and mirror of society – that is the theme of ‘Autorreconstrucción: Social Tissue’, a project by the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas who receives his first museum exhibition in Switzerland from 16 February to 25 March 2018 at the Kunsthaus Zürich. This short presentation will be a ‘happening’, with the artist creating new works live before the audience, assisted by local people.

The Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas (b. 1968) is receiving his first exhibition in Switzerland. In his works and space-filling installations, he investigates sculpture as the expression of social conditions. His artistic practise is imbued with a sense of constant becoming. Improvisation, working with found materials and interacting with local people play a key role. Cruzvillegas will be transforming the 1,000-square-metre presentation space into a workshop, in which new works will take shape during the exhibition and a range of events will be held. At the end of the presentation, the new creations will be assembled into a complete installation, transposing the concept of dynamic process that is key to Cruzvillegas’s work into the exhibition format itself.

Cruzvillegas’s method is based on his own experience. He grew up in Ajusco, a volcanic landscape south of the Mexican capital. Here, in the wake of the rural exodus, he witnessed families teaming up with their new neighbours to construct makeshift, self-built housing using rudimentary materials found nearby, and adapting it to their changing needs. For Cruzvillegas, the sculptural form thus becomes a process of transformation, action and solidarity, in which collaboration with others plays a central role.

In Zurich, Cruzvillegas will once again be working closely with local assistants, teaming up with students and craftspeople to create the new works that will comprise the final installation.

A range of events and activities are planned to accompany the exhibition. The events programme is a collaboration with various people from Zurich and includes weekly film screenings, workshops, discussions as well as skateboarding afternoons and a club for children. ‘Abendschule Import’ will be offering evening classes in which refugees share their knowledge. Zurich based bands will be taking lyrics composed by Abraham Cruzvillegas to accompany his sculptures, setting them to music and performing them in a live concert every Thursday. The concert series is a cooperation with Bar 3000. Performance artist and cook Sandra Knecht will be moving her monthly ‘Immer wieder sonntags’ dinner to the Kunsthaus – and there’s much more besides. The events programme, as well as progress on the works, can be viewed on the exhibition website http://cruzvillegas.kunsthaus.ch/en and experienced live. Updates and impressions will be posted regularly on the Kunsthaus’s Facebook page and on Instagram (#socialtissue). Public guided tours (in German only) take place on Sundays at 11 a.m. and on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Curator Mirjam Varadinis is responsible for both the idea behind the exhibition and the accompanying publication, which will appear in two parts. The first contains an in-depth interview with the artist as well as short contributions and poems by activists, intellectuals, poets and writers. The second will accompany the creation of the new works during the exhibition at the Kunsthaus and will be published during the last week of ‘Autorreconstrucción: Social Tissue’.

The exhibition by Abraham Cruzvillegas is an opportunity to watch new artworks actually being created. It is a unique experience and a whole new way of accessing art.

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