From line to movement
J. Méndez Blake & Mateo López
The Blueproject Foundation presents the exhibition "From line to movement – Inventing things to do while walking" by Mateo López and Jorge Méndez Blake, curated by Claudia Segura. The exhibition can be seen at Sala Project from December 14, 2017 to March 4, 2018.
"From line to movement – Inventing things to do while walking" puts into dialogue the investigations of Jorge Méndez Blake (Mexico, 1974) about literature and the practices of Mateo López (Colombia, 1978) with drawing as cornerstone. The book and the paper become devices-stimuli that unfold in endless possibilities looking for architectural, volumetric and gestural dimensions. The relationship that weaves between the language of both artists takes as a starting point the satirical novel Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions (1884) by Edwin Abbott.
The literary narrative relates the daily life of a two-dimensional world called Flatland. The narrator is a square who discovers that there are other dimensions where shapes such as the dot, sphere and line live. Misunderstood by the Flatland’s government, Square ends up imprisoned for his revolutionary ideas that attempt against the narrow-minded thoughts of his country. In his cell, sad and lonely, he longs for a curious mind to read his memories in the future.
In addition to being a novel known by both artists, it serves as the axis on which the investigations of the show orbit, where the essence of drawing (Mateo López) and the book (Jorge Méndez Blake) becomes porous and disjointed. The exhibition wishes to detonate both the codes of the narrative and the graphic to turn them into a gesture. In the case of Jorge Méndez Blake, a book is more than a verbal structure, or a series of grammatical processes; it is the dialogue that engages with its reader, the variable and durable images left in your memory, the forms that generate their words and endless games that can be done with its pages. In the same way, Mateo López operates in a space where drawing is part of a performative gestuality, typical of the day-to-day of the workspace, which is triggered by sculptures, architectures and pieces that condense various temporalities. The objects become the rumour of the activity of the artist’s workshop which are available to the public to be manipulated. As if it were to show that the utility that the artefacts should have is clumsy and defective, in an ironic game that joins art and design.
Using as a subtitle of the exhibition a phrase by Hélio Oiticica (Brazil, 1937-1980) "inventing things to do while walking", the conversation between the two artists is intended exactly as a walk together with an intuitive way to conceive things. "De la línea al movimiento" proposes a new place to inhabit the practice of Méndez Blake and López, who undoubtedly share similar research and interests, but resolved in dissimilar ways. A whispering links the dialogue between the pieces of the two artists to unite them within the framework of the exhibition. Therefore, an artwork made together by both artists for this context is exhibited: a conceptual and aesthetic exercise invented from imagination. The controversy of authorship is materialized in this dual work, where movement is needed to activate it.
The hybrid structure that lies between being a museographic device and an architectural work -where several of the artists’ pieces rest- cuts drastically the traditional navigation of the public through the space. It proposes a choreographic experiment that forces the viewer to go up, down, sit down and even lay on the platform. Walking as a source of knowledge becomes a mechanism to unfold the show.
The premises offered by this experiment – the title, the museography, the text and the relationship between the pieces – invite the viewer to place themselves at a very specific distance where they should not only see with the eyes, but also with the body.
Performance by Javier Vaquero Ollero
Sunday December 17, 2017, at 12:30pm