Culiacán Botanical Garden
“What becomes of public space once violence is normalized in a city? Though it is naive to believe that architecture by itself can present absolute solutions to complex social and political issues, it is also important to explore and understand its possibilities as an agent of social change, however small.
In Mexico, the wave of violence that has arisen in recent decades is more palpable in certain regions of the country, resulting in entire communities who have been made vulnerable by a fluctuating state of insecurity. For over ten years now, Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao has been participating in the development of a multidisciplinary project in the city of Culiacán, the capital of the state of Sinaloa and widely recognized for the drug-related violence it harbors.
The Jardín Botánico Culiacán (Culiacán Botanical Garden) is a public space that undertook an ambitious project in 2002 directed by a local businessman with an extensive private contemporary art collection. A slew of artists were commissioned to visit the site and create installations that added an artistic dimension to the space, inspiring varied reactions in its users and functioning as an aesthetic, sensorial, and intellectual experience.
Somewhat incredibly, this small city in northern Mexico is now home to a public space where one can visit pieces by internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Dan Graham, Richard Long, Gabriel Orozco, Teresa Margolles, and more.”