By Raymundo Muñoz
“The idea of the library as the sacred storage of written culture needs to evolve into a democratic state, where people can transform the way we organize knowledge,” says Jorge Méndez Blake in an interview conducted by MCA Denver Associate Curator Nora Burnett Abrams. Deeply inspired by architecture and literature, Blake develops this idea in his “Project for a Park Library (Aerial View Large)” on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Part of his “Open Library” series, the massive vinyl on wall installation depicts a topographical view of the artist’s concept of a vast open-air library, where its bookshelves lay interspersed throughout a natural landscape.
Maze-like in composition, geometric facets of earthy tones collide with each other like a Tetris game gone awry, while the “bookshelves” represented by white lines lend the piece a sense of unity and purpose. Conceptually, the viewer should consider the work in whole as a bird’s-eye view, but a more arresting interaction can be inspired by walking the length of the room close to the walls. While the practicality of such a design can be called into question, the possibility of encouraging the sharing of knowledge in a more open, dynamic (maybe even more inspiring) way is intriguing.
Coinciding with his “Project for a Park Library (Aerial View Large)” exhibition was the Huevos Rancheros lecture series on contemporary Mexican art, architecture, and literature. Curated by Jorge Méndez Blake (a native of Guadalajara, Mexico), the series featured talks with the artist, curator Nora Burnett Abrams, artist Carlos Ranc, architect Sergio Ortiz, and cartoonist Comic Jam. To celebrate the final days of this exhibition as well as to further their efforts in developing a long term relationship in the Denver art community, the program sponsors architecture firm HDR Inc. held an event on the sleek rooftop deck of MCA Denver that altogether was a smart and very suitable blending of business, art, and architecture.