Emilio Chapela
From July 10 til  January 5, 2014

In Requiem, Emilio Chapela restructured the system of organization in the library of David Alfaro Siqueiros and treats this replica as a new strategy to navigate the muralist’s collection. Revealing of his worldview is the fact that Siqueiros organized over 2,000 books in three main categories: Art, Politics and Others. Considering this classification as an entry point, Emilio studied the library and pointed to the contrasts in terms of content, hidden by the previous system.

Maintaining the original categories, Chapela created exact copies of all the books in wood. Respectively, the colors red, blue and yellow located on the spine of each book represent Art, Politics and Others. Although Siqueiros only read Spanish, English and French, his library contains texts in Russian, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, English, Italian and German. In the replica, these are shown with other colors, the duplicate allowing for further interpretaions of Siqueiros’ political standpoint. For example, Vladimir Ilich Lenin through Photography (1969) is a first edition published in Russian in the Soviet Union in the Politics category that presents a visual analysis on Lenin.

For Chapela, Requiem can be appreciated as a funeral procession that refers to the library’s conceptualization and the present-future of the book. Throughout his research, the artist recovered “scan errors” discarded by the Siqueiros Researcher, during the digitalization process of the library that began in 2010. Alluding to the current state of the collection, Chapela reinterpreted these as photographs. Lastly, Chapela included a handout of a page of another Russian book, pointing to the act of possession and the configuration of a personal collection.

Interview with Emilio Chapela

Opening (Go to gallery)