Beyond aesthetics: poetics of Autoconstruccion in Mexico City

Parry, B (2016) 'Beyond aesthetics: poetics of Autoconstruccion in Mexico City.' In: Kosmala, K and Imas, M, eds. Precarious spaces: the arts, social and organisational change. Intellect, Bristol, pp. 87-111. ISBN 9781783205936


This chapter discusses the multidisciplinary project Autoconstrucción by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, which relates the story of his childhood through the self-build construction of his family home on the volcanic lands of the Pedregales de Coyoacan outside Mexico City. The first in a series of realizations for Autoconstrucción began far from the precarious spaces of Mexico City, when Abraham Cruzvillegas took up a 6-month residency at Cove Park and the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow in 2008. During that time, the artist created his customary sculptures of found-objects, produced a book documenting his experiences growing up on squatted lands of the Ajusco, and wrote the lyrics for 18 songs that were then offered to a diverse range of local Glaswegian bands. An in-depth analysis of this particular aspect of the project is explored, which extends into a broader discussion about the wider contribution of social art practice in the critical discourses around urban informality and user-generated urbanisms. It also explores how the personal experiences of self-build, self-organized communities have formed the methodology of Cruzvillegas’s social practice, artistic sensibility, aesthetics, poetics and politics that raise critical challenges to current debates around precariousness in art.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section

Also published in the U.S. by the University of Chicago Press.

Keywords: social practice, precariousness, art, informal city, Cruzvillegas, intervention, Autoconstruccion, Mexico City
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2018 22:06
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:51
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