Press: "Dime con quien andas..."

El Universal
An exhibition organized, but not curated, by Abraham Cruzvillegas at Campeche Gallery
This proverb warns about the great influence that the company of others, whether good or bad, has on one's behavior or habits. And this is something that has always been present in the history of art. We could not explain, for example, Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives without his relationship with the poet Mario Santiago and so many other writers who passed through and touched his life. The work is interwoven with the author's own literary loves (and hates), no matter how fictionalized the novel tries to be.
No, the work is not the author, but it does have something of him, and therefore something of his friends, his loves. Perhaps this is a bit the effect of Aire Fresco en el Verano del Amor, an exhibition "organized", not curated, by Abraham Cruzvillegas at the Galería Campeche (Campeche 130 Roma Sur, Mexico City).
Just what Cruzvillegas did by organizing was to "invite" his friends and with that act tell us a little of his tastes and hobbies, his conception of what art is through the horizontal look towards his colleagues, of who he goes through life with and who makes him, in a way, who he is.
"It is a project, more than an exhibition. The project I'm talking about is one of affection, a project of affection, of friendship among colleagues, among peers, horizontally and in contradictory, inefficient, delirious and stupid transversal ways. It is called friendship. And it does not have any sense, any objective, theme, technique or solid conceptual platform, it is only the love one has unconditionally, which is more than the love one has for one's partner, it is love one has for one's friend. And so I invited the people I love," he said during a press tour inside the gallery.
Unintentionally, because Cruzvillegas clearly made an effort not to be the focus of attention in this exhibition, leaving the stage to his friends, he ends up telling us about himself, and tangentially referencing his own work, whose common thread has been the concept of "self-construction", as the growth of the urban stain, or of one's own personality after encounters with "others".
The gathering of these artists in the same space has a plot beyond what is manifested by each work individually, it is a conversation between colleagues. The ideas are chiseled into each other, as in a dinner among friends with mezcal in between, where they start talking about one thing and end up discussing something completely different, but it doesn't matter: it is the search for a good time, to be pampered, to love each other, to enjoy.
Thus, in Aire Fresco en el Verano del Amor we see sketches of conversations, drunkenness, nights of dancing in the city among Cruzvillegas' friends, with structural clashes and stylistic oppositions. But in spite of everything they are there, one and all, for the common love of art, for the common friendship with the host.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the organization of the exhibition is the use of the word love, as a concept that often escapes description, but which is known to be fleeting like summer romances in youth. Encounters and misencounters that weave the history of people as individuals, as artists, but at the same time are part of a formless shroud that weaves and unweaves for the annals of art history.
In this tone of loving contrasts, where opposite poles attract, we find the work of Milana Gabriel Conturbatio (2019), a shoe box with red-soled heels of the Louboutin brand, deposited on the floor, the box has been intervened with the mini-noise of a cockroach woman who inhabits the bottom under the expensive shoes. A bourgeois reflection on the bourgeoisie itself in a Kafkaesque manner. This one is next to the work by Gustavo Rodríguez Valtierra Debajo del auto (2023), plastic artist and tinsmith, who sees in pieces of metal, in the talacha and in the car enamel, a colorful and expressive materiality from its condition of artifact devalued by blows and accidents, which need the hands of the tinsmith to return to its shape and value.
Among those diverse loves, we also find Eun Sol Lee Pigalle's photograph (2021), a foot, supported by a bone heel integrated as a necessary prosthesis. The artist, who also pole dances professionally, Cruzvillegas tells us, seems to want to tell us that the physical transformation, the stiletto heel prosthesis is indispensable to exist with "normality" in certain territories.
At the other end of the small gallery we find a work by Abraham González Pacheco, Desgajar el cerro (2023), a kind of iconography painted in fresco that reminds us of archaeological finds or rubble from a demolition not approved by the INAH, something that was valuable but already corroded, the product of a barbaric and destructive colonization-gentrification. At times it is also reminiscent of those pieces of the Berlin Wall that collectors took as souvenirs, pieces of graffiti that tell of a past that has tried to be forgotten but survives despite attempts to dismantle it. Beautiful Tepalcate that makes us reflect on the end of past civilizations; the multiple sketches of apocalypse that we live in a life, nostalgic and treasurable rubble.
In addition to these artists, works by Abraham Julian Togar, Alejandra Avilés, Andrés Garay, Ángel Marcano, Anousha Mohtashami, Ayako Sakuragi, Bayo Álvaro, Farah Taouza, Gabriel Morales Aquino, Guillermo Santamarina, Javier Carro, Jazael Olguin Zapata, Marcela Calderón Bony, Mónica Herrera, Obed Calixto, Rita Ponce de León, Sofía Bonilla Otoya, Sarah Konté and Wayzatta Fernández are presented.

Such is the exhibition on display now through October 21 at Campeche 130, a "photograph" of a moment of love in the apparent meaninglessness of the current art scene that unwittingly reveals the delirious tastes of Abraham Cruzvillegas.

PHOTO: Aspect of the group show Aire Fresco en el Verano del Amor, at Galería Campeche, colonia Roma. Image credit: Ramiro Chaves @whitebalancemx via Galería Campeche.

September 23, 2023