Garbage Wall

Environmental Engagement and Transdisciplinary Controversies in Contemporary Art: Abraham Cruzvillegas’ Garbage Wall in Mexico City

  • Peter Krieger (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


This article revises how garbage is used as a material for a contemporary art installation which unfolds a provocative enviro-political potential, and thus determines different modes of engagement. Such a transformation and stimulation which will be explained with a paradigmatic on-site installation of the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas who conceived and realized the “Garbage Wall” in the stony desert natural reserve within the territory of the National University in Mexico City (Reserva Ecológica del Pedregal de San Ángel, REPSA). Four itemizations of actors and key terms of engagement will be analyzed: first, the artist as the principal actor; second, the support of the university administration; third, the criticism and resistance of some scientists at the REPSA; and fourth, the discursive intermediation of art historians, guided by the contents and methods of environmental aesthetics. The selected case study shows how epistemic routines can be broken by transdisciplinary debates on contemporary eco-art.