Modthern Nature is a multisensorial and site-specific installation commissioned to artist Gabriela Galván (Mexico City, 1974) by Arte Abierto, with which our space is turned into an endemic and hydroponic garden which seeks to reflect upon the humanity-nature relationship, taking biodiversity and the transformation of El Pedregal as a result of modern thought as a starting point.

Modthern Nature arises from the interest in experiencing with the concept of transformation, privileging the contemplation of natural and everyday happenings through the senses. For Galván, transformation and temporality are notions which could be explored through art as fields of experimentation, investigation and knowledge, having the immediate context as reference and creating connections between living beings, places and cultures.

What we currently conceive as an urban zone, and was known in ancient Mesoamérica as Cuicuilco, was a territory which was buried by the eruption of the Xitle Volcano, provoking a volcanic landscape which we have nowadays come to witness, live in and think through. Later, during the 20th century, the area was intervened by a modern style of architecture which allows us to notice the links between natural development and human development.


The changes that the El Pedregal has undergone throughout its history allow us to think in concepts such as transformation, temporality and contemplation, which are of interest to the artist. The act of approaching this context from the vantage point of the present is not fortuitous: in the midst of our contemporary lives, it becomes urgent to contemplate the endemic nature that surrounds us in order to be able to recognize the knowledge transmitted by plants, rocks and living beings, as thus, reimagine our relationship to nature and our sense of belonging to it.


As Gabriela Galván puts forth, Modthern Nature suggests a re-enchantment with nature, but also reflects upon the importance of the sensorial aspect and our lived experience through its means. This project isn’t but a single glance at the grandiosity and complexity of El Pedregal, as guided by the knowledge of biologists, geologists, historians, landscapists and researchers who have studied the wisdoms of this historical space. This is also the first grand scale exhibition that Gabriela Galván has shown in Mexico for the past 10 years, and one of the most complex in her career.


Gabriela Galván’s exhibition, Modthern Nature, will be open from June to November 2023, Tuesday to Sunday from 12 to 7 pm at Espacio Arte Abierto located on the 2nd floor Artz Pedregal (Periférico Sur 3720 Col. Jardines del Pedregal, CP. 01900, Mexico City).


We appreciate the support and advice to make this project possible to: Eduardo Berumen, Dra. N. Ivalú Cacho González, Arq. Wilfredo Cahuantzi Sigüenza, Blga. Teresa Castaño, Bettina Cetto, Dra. Silke Cram, Ing. Antonio González Guzmán, Ing. Luis Lin, Dra. María Fernanda Martinez-Báez Téllez, Pablo Villaseñor, Facultad de Ciencias de la Tierra (UNAM), Jardín Botánico (IB-UNAM), Reserva Ecológica del Pedregal de San Ángel (UNAM) y Taller de Paisaje Entorno.