cover image Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites

Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites

Edited by Clara Kim. Walker Art Center (DAP, dist.), $60 (240p) ISBN 978-1-935963-05-9

This catalogue of the Mexican multimedia artist’s midcareer retrospective displays the rampant exuberance of Cruzvillegas’s work, which he calls autoconstrucción (self-construction), born of “the improvisational building methods and techniques utilized in his hometown [of Ajusco].” Olga Viso, the Walker Art Center’s executive director, explains: “For Cruzvillegas, sculptural form is a process of change, action, solidarity, and transformation.” The oversized book includes photographs of people, buildings, and landscapes, as well as of sculptures—like the crude wooden stool and lumber scraps perched atop an oversized vegetable-oil can, garlanded with a string of limes hanging from the ceiling—inspired by Ajusco’s ad hoc found-object architecture. There are also images of roughly printed political and advertising posters; song lyrics and documentation of theater and video projects; and provocative artist statements (he says of autoconstrucción, “It’s called ‘Pataphysics.’ I also call it Taoism”). Cruzvillegas writes, “However art makes itself evident, it shall remain, above all, raw source material in all its natural, unstable, physical, chaotic, and crystalline states: solid, liquid, colloidal, and gaseous. It is the joy of energy.” Essays in oversized typeface by curator and editor Kim, and six other vigorously imaginative writers illuminate the artworks. (May)