Abraham Cruzvillegas
Una cita a ciegas con Ibn Zaydun, entre el aceite y el agua, 2022

Abraham Cruzvillegas, Una cita a ciegas con Ibn Zaydun, entre el aceite y el agua, 2022

Wood, metal, stone, synthetic fiber, natural fiber, ceramic, oil, water, soil, and living organisms
Commissioned by TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary ​​for the exhibition Abundant Futures. 
For the previous exhibition Abundant Futures, formerly unused spaces of C3A were intervened, reactivating them by introducing plant and animal life into the hermetically guarded art space. Three hexagonal patios were assigned to the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas to present site-specific sculptural works. Cruzvillegas’s assemblages reference historical figures, exploring the different ways history and collective memory can be mediated without undermining their complexity. Now part of the collection of Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, A blind date with Ibn Zaydun, between oil and water invites a conversation with several figurations: the poet Ibn Zaydun (1003–1071), perhaps the most famous lyricist of al-Andalus, known for his escapades and the nuniyyas written to his beloved, the princess-poetess Wallāda. Water from the nearby Guadalquivir river, otherwise known in Arabic as Wadi’ l-Kabir, the Great River, and unfiltered, organic olive oil (zaytun in Arabic, a quasi-homophone to Zaydun) are part of the blind date. The sculpture takes the shape of a bridge connecting the two banks of the Guadalquivir between the old city and the formerly known Campo de la Verdad -where the C3A is located-, the site of a major battle in Córdoba’s medieval history.
The idea of the blind date is a metaphor for the way Cruzvillegas engages with new-to-him, found materials, exemplifying his ability to repurpose, reassign, and redefine the use and perception of those objects. “All objects are alive when I use them in my work. Things have an opinion, and they either ask you things or they don’t,” the artist explains. Placing the opinionated materials in a precarious equilibrium and using ropes, cables, and gravity to hold them together articulate the conceptual strategies, political coordinates, and contingent aesthetics that Cruzvillegas seeks to foreground.


Group show: Remedios
Venue: C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba
Curator: Daniela Zyman
Exhibition 14 April 2023 -  March 2024
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1968. Lives in Mexico City, Mexico
Abraham Cruzvillegas, Sketch for Una cita a ciegas con Ibn Zaydun, entre el aceite y el agua, 2022