“gabriel orozco” at kurimanzutto, Mexico City

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Chapultepec is an iconic urban forest located in the heart of Mexico City. Its origins date back to pre-Hispanic times, and for over five centuries, it has been the setting for crucial moments in Mexico’s history. Today, it not only serves as a massive “green lung” but also hosts recreational and culturally significant spaces, such as the National Museum of Anthropology and Chapultepec Castle, to name just a few.

In early 2019, after deciding to transform a 100-hectare military field (which was slated for sale to a real estate developer) into a Fourth Section for Chapultepec, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador invited artist Gabriel Orozco to conceive a Master Plan for the development of Chapultepec Forest. Over the past five years, in collaboration with numerous national and international experts in environmental restoration, urban infrastructure, history, archaeology, and other specialties, Orozco has worked on this project.

The Master Plan developed by Gabriel Orozco to implement a Bio-Cultural Forest in Chapultepec is guided by the principles of permaculture, which include care for the land, care for people, and fair share. According to these principles, the proposal is ecologically respectful, socially responsible, and economically viable. The Plan reaffirms Chapultepec’s original vocation as a spring and public forest, significantly enriching all its layers; it enhances its environmental potential, strengthening and increasing its green areas; and it doubles its cultural offerings, diversifying its public spaces.

The Master Plan consists of three closely intertwined axes: the environmental, the social, and the cultural. The environmental axis involves the environmental and water rehabilitation of the forest, increasing its biodiversity and resilience through improved water filtration and retention using nature-based solutions and green infrastructure, restoring soil fertility, and rehabilitating degraded areas. The social axis aims to ensure connectivity and accessibility to Chapultepec by building new accesses to make it permeable to historically inaccessible neighboring areas, consolidating internal connections, creating safe spaces for users, especially women, and restoring the public vocation of areas, especially in the Fourth Section and the newly created Los Pinos Cultural Complex. The cultural axis involves creating twelve new spaces for cultural and environmental services in the four sections, as punctual interventions to revitalize existing museums and underutilized or abandoned areas of the forest as a whole.

The implementation of Orozco’s Master Plan is being carried out by the Government of Mexico City and the federal Secretary of Culture. It is 90% complete and is set to be inaugurated in mid-2024. Approximately $400 million USD have been invested so far, generating 50,000 direct jobs. To date, 100,000 trees have been planted, and successful connectivity structures have been built (such as the Floating Causeway designed by the artist himself). Additionally, existing museums have been restored, and new cultural spaces have been developed, including the Urban Culture Park (PARCUR), the Environmental Culture Center, and the Los Pinos Cultural Complex (formerly the presidential residence), as well as the new headquarters of the National Cinematheque, the National Art Warehouse, the Scenic Garden, to name just a few of the twelve cultural nodes proposed in the master plan.

Thanks to this priority project for the Federal Government, through the Secretary of Culture, Chapultepec Forest now boasts 800 hectares in four accessible sections, representing an unprecedented increase in public green areas for the inhabitants and visitors of Mexico City, and doubling the artistic offerings of Chapultepec, the most popular cultural space in Mexico.

at kurimanzutto, Mexico City
until April 27, 2024

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