What if, in the productive and busy city of London, a sculptor creates an installation about waiting and emptiness?
This is the last work of the Mexican Sculptor Abraham Cruzvillegas for the first series of Turbine Hall Commissions sponsored by Hyundai at the Tate Modern in 2015.
“Empty Lot” is the title chosen for the exhibition. Cruzvillegas has built a scaffolding platform, filled with 240 wooden triangular planters with over 23 tons of soil from different open spaces in London: 35 different types of soil from around the city( Greenwich park, Acton park, Clapham Common, Brockwell park and so on). This diversity of soil is a metaphor of the cultural diversity in London.
The Lots are empty. Nothing has been planted in the soils. But the soils contain dormant seeds, bulbs, bugs, spores and mushrooms. All the planters are watered and sun showered equally.
For Cruzvillegas the project is about hope and expectation. The idea is to wait for over six months - the duration of the exhibition - and see what will grow naturally from the ground, inviting nature to play her powerful role of creator. He doesn’t expect a flourishing of verdant and colourful plants. It is an empty lot. Cruzvillegas says:
"It’s a sculpture made out of hope, that would be the main material. Having a piece of land where I plant nothing and I will allow myself to witness what can grow there.”
“Empty Lot” is a great metaphor for our lives. Life is not always a matter of seeding, blossoming and being productive. Sometimes we need to wait, accepting that not everything can grow and be under our control.
“If nothing happens I will be happy anyway because it’s something happening anyway, maybe you don’t see it but it’s happening!”
Can we read in Cruzvillegas’ sculpture an attempt to invite us to remember, that human beings are part of nature, and for this reason we are susceptible to waiting, sleeping and to unexpected blossoming. Can we allow our self to witness the emptiness and hope?
What do you think?