Harold Mendez | Museum of Contemporary Art | Museums | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Nov. 8-30 2008
The art world lost a formalist saint when Agnes Martin died in 2004--her subtly ruled drawings and paintings convey a quiet beatitude connected to her acceptance of the impermanence of life. A similarly somber poetry comes through in the work of Harold Mendez, who creates gray grids directly on the wall with packing and duct tape. But Mendez's pieces are less about metaphysics than menace: larger-scale than Martin's, they surround the viewer with a mesh of barriers representing the invisible traces of the institutions that structure our lives. In his MCA installation, Things That Cannot Be Buried or Forgotten or Walked Away From, the barriers are linked to borders defining land and ancestry. An accompanying four-channel sound piece, So Long as We Can Say This Is the Worst, This Is Not the Worst, features manipulated desert sounds that conjure desperate attempts to enter the U.S. from Mexico as well as biblical flights into the desert and the snares and hazards of living under surveillance. --Bert Stabler



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