Gabriel Orozco believes that “very simple gestures and actions” can transform any experience, even the most mundane, into a work of art. These actions often result in objects that either cease to exist or change over time. In this way, Orozco challenges the accepted definitions of art and artistic practices. The vast majority of his work, which varies broadly in media, results from slight interventions in or interactions with his immediate environment, whether a supermarket, a beach, the streets of a rural village, or an urban landscape.
To make Piedra que cede (Yielding Stone), Orozco shaped nearly 150 pounds of plasticine (equal approximately to his own body weight) into a ball and pushed it through the streets of New York City. In the process, dirt and detritus from the streets were embedded in the surface of this malleable material. Orozco references many art-making traditions in this work: Arte Povera’s recycling of prosaic materials, Earth Art’s exploration of sites beyond the gallery or museum, and the engagement of the artist’s own body in performance art.