< Exhibitions
Nothing is Left to Tell
Jorge Méndez Blake
Sep 6, 2013 - Oct 26, 2013

With Nothing is Left to Tell, his third exhibition at the gallery, Jorge Méndez Blake deepens his research on literature and complexities of language by focusing on the Irish writer Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. The Mexican artist based his research on the very short play Ohio Impromptu which contains some of the major Beckett themes: isolation, a communication gap, duality, rehashing of words, contemplation of emptiness, allusion to death. These themes are re-assessed throughout the exhibition through various media.

The large drawing of a curtain, the theatrical artifice par excellence, opens the question of representation: what to show/what to say? What to watch? Who to listen to? The curtain is a mask and arouses curiosity. Another question comes from the mirror, which reflects and duplicates. This mirror, often found in Méndez Blake's work, is placed on a table in closed form. Does repeating infinitely lead to dementia or an ecstatic contemplation? How to approach the couple, which is alluded to here through these two chairs next to each table but also by the photographic diptych, visible from a precise perspective? What to say to the other person?

The big picture of the final page Ohio Impromptu, enlarged and drawn in fine coloured pencil, suggests that there is little that can be said with this sentence, reproduced in red, endlessly repeated throughout the piece: Nothing is Left to Tell. A certain emptiness beautifully emphasised. Language is also suggested repeatedly through a series of works on paper reproducing the words Rideau / Curtain which correspond to the words at the end of Beckett’s plays. By avoiding all text, Méndez Blake creates a fine allusion to the strangeness and abstraction of Beckett's work. The place of words and colour are chosen according to a precise logic, like the layout of the series itself (the opening itself becoming an invisible curtain).

Using a large dark velvet curtain separated into two sections, the artist installs a theatrical device that opens and closes the spoken word. This raises the more general question of representation: two large black rectangles painted on the wall act as the shadows of the curtain and a bronze hat echoes the photographic diptych. Opposite this darkness, he has spread out four large drawings of flowers growing near the artist's studio in Guadalajara. They seem to be drawn in filigree, seen through a veil (the curtain again), paying homage to Beckett's most optimistic moods; one reads in Enough: "I'm going to erase everything except the flowers. (...) Just the two of us lingering in the flowers ".