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Blind Self-Portrait, Escaping from Myself, Trying to Remember What Year Mille plateaux Was Published
Original title: Autorretrato ciego, escapándome de mí mismo, tratando de recordar el año en que fue publicado Mille plateaux
Lilac acrylic paint on newspaper, cardboard, photographs, postcards, envelopes, drawings, tickets, cards, posters, cards, receipts, napkins and needles
Dimensions: Variable dimensions
Photograph: © Omar Luis Olguín, 2014
The work of Abraham Cruzvillegas (Mexico City, 1968) focuses on craft and manual processes inspired by techniques for handling and recycling everyday materials. The dynamic of collecting and appropriating objects that underpins his practice is rooted in the self-building methods used by the artist’s family when they lived in the neighbourhood of Ajusco, on the outskirts of Mexico City, when he was a boy. Cruzvillegas’s work begins with the accumulation and ordering of simple, anodyne objects, which, stripped of their original function (the one they were designed and made to perform), open up to new meanings and formalisms within the art context. Grounding his discourse in the ingenuity of giving discarded objects a new function, and using intuition and improvisation as tools for creation, the artist recovers a multitude of elements and brings them together in a new habitat and within a new system of relationships. Autorretrato ciego, escapándome de mí mismo, tratando de recordar el año en que fue publicado ‘Mille Plateaux’ (2013) belongs to a series of pieces in which Cruzvillegas indirectly explores the idea of a self-portrait. In this work, the artist takes everyday items (envelopes, letters, receipts, napkins, etc) and covers them in acrylic paint, negating their information content in favour of a new abstract meaning. As the title suggests, making the biographical content of the papers invisible invites the viewer to respond to the work in a more intuitive, visceral way—an approach that opens up multiple readings between the narrative suggested by the title (Cruzvillegas’s titles usually include emotional references) and the abstract composition (monochrome lilac in this case) of its various possible installations.