There are currently 200 blocks of cotija cheese stacked and ripening in the sun at the United States border with Mexico. They’re the work of L.A.-based, Canadian-born artist Cosimo Cavallaro, who hopes to construct a 1,000-foot long, 6-foot-high cheese wall as a critique of the Trump-supported federal border wall. The wall—which would “Make America Grate Again”—is part-art project, part-political statement. Cavallaro is fundraising for this effort via GoFundMe, where he notes each solid block of cheese costs $100.
If that seems wasteful, that’s the point, Cavallaro tells McClatchy news service: “You can see the waste in this [cheese] wall, but you can’t see the waste in a $10 billion wall?” He does note on his website—cheesewall.com—that all the cheese blocks used for the wall are expired and not suitable for humans to eat.
Cavallaro has worked with perishable materials in his art before, and says on his GoFundMe page that building a wall out of food will hopefully encourage people to think differently about a proposed border wall. The page reads, “[Cavallaro] believes all people—whether they are on this side of the U.S.-Mexico border or the other—are the same. Cosimo also recognizes that at some point, we all feel like outsiders, so in some way, we can all feel like we’re on the other side of ‘the wall.’”
His goal is to raise $300,000, which would allow him to create the 1,000-foot-long wall; in addition to soliciting crowd-funded donations, he is also selling cheese-related merchandise to fund the project. So far, he is only $1,180 of the way there. Only tangentially related but: Does anyone actually grate cotija? I usually crumble it.