This Feature explores Josiah McElheny's exhibition Libraries, on view at our Lower East Side gallery. In Libraries, McElheny continues his ongoing investigation of ways that concepts of “the infinite” have been translated throughout history into images, and how these pictorial structures connect to societal values of diversity, individuality and interconnectedness. The formal and conceptual beginnings of this exhibition are found in the vast, hexagonal library described by Jorge Luis Borges in his famous short story The Library of Babel. For McElheny, this exhibition’s interpretation of Borges’ library is a response, in part, to recent concerns about the fragmentation of information within contexts such as education and politics. He suggests, “Maybe it’s not that truth is malleable, but rather it’s that knowledge is expandable. And there are also so many kinds of knowledge, new types that we have never even looked for—that’s where possibility lies.”
Libraries is on view from April 17 - June 12, 2021 at 291 Grand St. The exhibition features a fil by Jeff Preiss and Josiah McElheny.