WATCH TREMENDOUS IMPACT ONE BOOK CAN HAVE
Mar 8th 2021
The Castle, a 2007 project by Mexican artist Jorge Mendez Blake that subtly examines the impact of a single outside force. For the installation, he constructed a 75 x 13 foot brick wall that balances on top of a single copy of Franz Kafka’sThe Castle. It featured a brick wall that was created by carefully arranging and stacking bricks over each other. The wall was made without mortar, and in the middle, a version of Franz Kafka's The Castle rested crushed by the extreme pressure of the bricks. Therefore, the entire length and width of the wall balanced precariously on the single hardcover book.
While the book’s insertion seems clever enough on its own, it’s what its presence does to the wall that shows the true genius. The bricks curve and shape around the book, creating a bump and beautiful imperfection in the wall.
This minimal, yet poignant presence is reflected in the brick work—Kafka’s novel showcasing how a small idea can have a monumental presence.
Although a more literary metaphor could be applied to explain his choice to use the book, Blake wanted to communicate that small and unknown ideas could make a huge impact and that they could have a monumental presence regardless of how irrelevant they may appear.
WithCastle, Jorge managed to prove his point effectively, that literature could be used as an essential tool to articulate social situations and scenarios. The visual result of creating a dialogue between literature, art, and architecture was a sophisticated design characterized by theoretical elements that needed each other to make sense on a larger scale.