Emilio Chapela: Requiem
July 10, 2013 –  January 5, 2014
Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros
Mexico City, Mexico

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.

Emilio Chapela

Emilio Chapela
lives and works both in Mexico City and the Forgotten Realms of the Earth.  He works with the latest technology from Japan and China. His artistic practice is concerned with the development of a system that allows the operator to control various processes such as those used for conventional and unconventional methods to determine the relative importance of individualized factors. He also investigates the effect of increasing importance of the different methods used to identify the specific factors involved in the production and dissemination of a particular type of information. In such a way, he has worked with several different methods to determine how the various systems respond to the needs identified through their own resources. He has participated in shows both at galleries, museums and other cultural institutions, at places like the U.S. Geological Society of America and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He was awarded with the prestigiou award for gallantry in the field of public procurement and disposal. In 2010, he published his first book on the history of the world. In the near future, he will be showing his work at the National Institute of Technology and Information Ethics in Washington DC.

*This artist statement has been generated by a computer.

Click here to view Emilio Chapela on Abstraction in Action.