JORGE MENDEZ BLAKE
Not to read
21 March – 25 April 2015
1301PE is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition with Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake entitled ‘Not to read’. The exhibition, which surveys the artist’s recent work, focuses on the space between reading and looking. Méndez Blake’s varied body of works draws connections between word and object where literature is materialized to constitute a new realm of interpretation and subjectivity.
Through translation of canonical texts, phrases, and imagery from Franz Kafka, Frank O’Hara, James Joyce, Wallace Stevens, and others, Méndez Blake alludes to processes of language translation, as well as negation of textual meaning by architectural or designed conditions of literary expression.
Méndez Blake’s drawing of smoke insinuates absence and loss – similar to his neon sculpture of Kafka’s final behest “Dearest Max, My Last request.” While there are references to loss, there is also a sense of provision within Méndez Blake’s interdisciplinary practice. A single red book, inaccessible at the top of an otherwise empty bookshelf, allows any imaginable interpretation. By expanding marginal elements of a text, Jorge Méndez Blake grants autonomous power to ulterior frameworks that construct and order our cultural heritage.
Jorge Méndez Blake was born in 1974 in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he currently lives and works. Recent solo museum presentations include: 2014, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; 2010, Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles; 2010, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; and 2008, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City. He was the recipient of the Young Creators Grant in 2007-2008 by the National Fund for Culture and Arts,Mexico. Selected group exhibitions include; 2014, “Requiem for the Bibliophile,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara; 2013, Escotoma: Historias de Butades, Galeria Metropolitana de la UAM, Mexico City; 2012, Resisting the Present, Musée d’Arte Moderne, Paris; “Crisisss América Latina, Arte y Confrontación: 1910-2010,” Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.