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” at the C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba, April 1, 2022–March 5, 2023, curated by Daniela Zyman
 “Abundant Futures” intervenes in the formerly unused spaces of C3A, reactivating them by introducing plant and animal life into the hermetically guarded art space. Three hexagonal internal 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. Commissioned for “Abundant Futures,” 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, 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.
Abraham Cruzvillegas, Sketch for Una cita a ciegas con Ibn Zaydun, entre el aceite y el agua, 2022