New Mexico City Construction Pits Builders Against 30,000 Land Art Advocates

Advocates say a new building ruins the artwork.

Espacio Escultórico in Mexico City. Image: Flickr via Alfredo Gayou

A much-revered land art sculpture in Mexico City, Espacio Escultórico, or Sculptural Space, is at risk, and a petition is drawing increasing support.

The work is a collaborative effort between six Mexican artists realized in 1979. The creators include Helen Escobedo, Manuel Felguérez, Mathias Goeritz, Manuel Hernández Suárez (aka Hersúa), Federico Silva, and Enrique Carbajal (aka Sebastián).

The sculpture is comprised of 64 concrete wedges in a circle ringing two and a half acres of black volcanic rock. For the past few decades, it has stood undisturbed on a 600-acre ecological reserve on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, but according to the New York Times, legions of supporters are angered by a newly constructed building on campus which “looms over” the space and ruins the views.

Proponents of the earth art sculpture, including artist Anish Kapoor, have called for the building to be destroyed or at least modified. A petition urging the university to take action has over 30,000 signatures.

Kapoor currently has a show at the school’s museum of contemporary art that opened this past Saturday. He tells the Times that for all the great works of land art: “the horizon is how they function.”

The British artist is one of a group of artists who say they would auction artworks to raise funds to move the building.

The university, which said it spent $1 million on the building, states that it will not destroy or alter it.

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