CCA Wattis, San Francisco

Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts / 360 Kansas Street
CA 94103-5130 San Francisco

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artist / participant

press release

Abraham Cruzvillegas is the first participant in the Wattis Institute’s The Magnificent Seven program and our fall Capp Street Project artist in residence. The Mexican artist is best known for his sculptures that transform everyday objects, such as found scrap wood and weathered buoys, into elegant compositions. The artist plays the role of a scavenger, finding value in the discarded.

Over the past semester Cruzvillegas and 10 students in CCA’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts have been investigating concepts of need and scarcity in relation to object making. Their starting point was the customization and transformation of found materials into bicycles and other functional vehicles. Discussing the forms the vehicles might take, options ranged from a delirious machine to a popcorn vehicle, an art-making trailer, a happy machine, a mirror-reflecting vehicle, a festival-on-the-go machine, a mobile sound system, a half-man-half-vehicle, a music vehicle, an elements wagon, a bike raft, and a bird surrey.

The themes inspiring these forms included memories, community, imagination, motion, happiness, celebration, environment, work, speed, energy, and fun. The students also aimed to address issues specific to the Bay Area such as pollution, community, economics, and politics. They visited numerous scrapyards, then collected and recycled parts from old bikes with other found objects and junk.

The three vehicles they created will be presented in the main building at CCA’s San Francisco campus November 15-29, with a parade in front of campus on Saturday, November 21, from 2-5 p.m.

The participating MFA students are Fred Alvarado, Natalia Anciso, Angela Camille, Daniel Dallabrida, Rachel Dawson, Crystal de la Torre, Courtney Johnson, Vanessa Nava, Carlos Ramirez, and Allison Rowe.

About the Magnificent Seven September 2009 marked the launch of The Magnificent Seven at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. The seven participating international artists are Abraham Cruzvillegas, Harrell Fletcher, Ryan Gander, Renata Lucas, Kris Martin, Paulina Olowska, and Tino Sehgal. Over a three-year period they are being integrated into every aspect of the institution’s structure and activities. Each one presents a solo exhibition, completes a Capp Street Project artist residency, produces a publication, teaches a number of courses as a CCA faculty member, delivers a public lecture, and participates in other aspects of the Wattis’s programming.

The Magnificent Seven:

Abraham Cruzvillegas
CRV (Collaborative Re-creation Vehicles)