Visitors to Washington Square Park might have noticed a flurry of activity taking place this morning — even more so than the usual daily bustle. That’s because artist Bosco Sodi began building a 26-foot long brick wall within the park starting at 7 a.m today. The one-day political installation, when completed, will stand until 3 p.m., when passerby are invited to dismantle the wall brick-by-brick and take part of it home.
We were there to document the progress of the structure (more photos to come), entitled “Muro,” which also happens to be Sodi’s first public installation in New York. With the help of local craftsman, Sodi handmade the 1,600 signed and “100% Mexican” bricks used in the piece. They were crafted in his Oaxaca studio and later transported by truck using the same route taken by migrants who enter Texas from Nuevo Laredo, a city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
Rendering of Muro. Image courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery by Christopher Stach
The progress of Muro as of 7 a.m.
The idea for the project came to Sodi earlier this year, during the period of tense political tension following Trump’s inauguration. At the time, Sodi had been producing clay bricks for an upcoming show in March. When the bricks arrived at his studio, they were stacked together like a wall, sparking the conceptualization of Muro. It’s now coming to fruition thanks to the help of the Paul Kasmin gallery and a group of Mexican friends, artists and New Yorkers, who will help erect the wall.
Among those who are participating are architects Enrique Norten and Jorge Ambrosi, chef Gabrielle Chiavari, opera singer Mauricio Trejo and artist Mario Navarrio.
“I wanted to create a wall made by Mexicans with Mexican earth,” says Sodi. “Then the disappearance of the wall will be by the community and all kinds of people who visit the park.”
According to The Art Newspaper, the deconstruction of the wall will serve as a metaphoric and poetic action. The short-lived nature of the structure emphasizes the idea that all obstacles have the potential to be dismantled through united forces.
At the end of the process, the work will continue to endure as a communally co-owned work of art, and rumor has it that someone from the mayor’s office might even drop by to nab a brick.
Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of Washington Square Park and see 18 Art Installations and Exhibits Not to Miss in NYC in September 2017.