Central de Muros and Central de Abasto. The transformation of urban spaces through contemporary art

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El arte como herramienta de transformación. And art really can be, a tool for change and raising awareness perfectly connected with the present time.

Projects such as Central de Muros (Mexico City) are strategically and “re-creatively” linked to the urban and social contemporary fabric, especially in the most sensitive and vulnerable areas, representing an interesting opportunity for transforming and reactivating concrete and ideal spaces of  dialogue and sharing.

Central de muros is the name of an initiative promoted by the Mexican cultural collective We Do Things, founded by Itze González and Irma Macedo, a public art project which aims to revalue collective areas in the Mexican city through the artistic action and supporting educational shared projects involving artists, economic realities, cultural agents, citizens and governmental bodies.

Mexico has a long and solid tradition of mural paintings. Thus, this kind of initiatives particularly represents a constructive and inclusive way of preserving the continuity with the historical roots and with the community, using a contemporary, urban, living and evolving language, which is able to absorb tendencies and historical forces, but also the negative aspects of the present time, reconverting them into aesthetic signs and cultural actions that promote sustainability objectives for social and cultural development.

Art can be this, too. A tool that can push us observing and exploring the territorial context that we belong to, focusing on details we did not knew before, and where it seems that there is apparently nothing to observe, art itself can create a new perspective through a cromatic and semantic renovate language. That’s why art can be this, too. Art is always part of the present time, art is present to its time. No matter if we cannot understand its expressions. Art is simply there and knows our language maybe before or independently of us.

The first stage of the project begins in August 2017 and from that date 32 murals have been created in the urban heart of Mexico City, obtaining the precious support of the ONU.  And yet that is not all. Among the activities included in the project there is Arte Público en la Central de Abasto, a second stage which intervenes in the largest Latin American market with its 327 hectares.

A wide and social space of exchange of different values ​​and also of experiences, is it not what a mercatus is? Central de Abasto represents a microcosm with its peculiar dynamics and its agents, a universe of actions, perspectives, encounters and daily smells, in a metropolitan area that thanks to art can paradoxically reconstruct the connection with the traditional market dimension, in particular referring to that experencial component made of spaces and interactions that we are gradually forgetting. In a world that is always more social and less “social”, this artistic project is a brilliant way to contact the roots and the sense of community.

Behind the founders of the project there are involved in this second stage Julen Ladrón de Guevara, cultural manager and curator, and Santiago Espinosa de los Monteros, curator and museographer.

The artists present in the project as of today are: Hows, BeoHake, UNEG, Nove Noel, Chula Records, Asero, Hilda Palafox (Poni), Rilke & Guillem, Sofia Castellanos, Francesco Pinzon, Wise Two, Paola Delfín, Madeja jaja, Alba Bla, Edgar Solorzano, Hesner, Adrián Rodrgiuez, Mike Mease, Leo Monzoy, Bastia Bastard, Thoth, It’s a Living, Renda, Silverstre Madera, Los Calladitos, Raúl Zito, CAME, Hielos, Aldo Hernandez, Pogo, Kenta Torii and Gabriel Integral Macotela de Grupo SUMA.

Giuliana Schiavone

foto 1“Dios del árbol mágico CEDA” Kenta Torii. Courtesy of We do things.

foto 2“la diablera” Chula Records – Jonathan Avilés. Courtesy of We do things.

foto 3.jpeg“Robin Hood” Done Bbc. Courtesy of We do things.

foto 4Central de muros, Mexico City. Courtesy of We do things.

foto 5.jpegCentral de muros. Mexico City. Courtesy of We do things.

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