Lisson Gallery

Pedro Reyes opens TLACUILO, Mexico's first art-lending library

3 May 2021

At the Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City, Pedro Reyes has launched TLACUILO, Mexico’s first Art-lending library. The TLACUILO catalogue includes artworks, books, and vinyl records with a special focus on art and literature. Visitors to the MACG are now able to withdraw any of the library’s items for a duration of 3 months.

The project began as an Instagram-hosted library in 2019, when Reyes opened up his personal collection of books for public loan. Now, with more than 8000 followers and 500 active users, Reyes is expanding on the “social experiment” of providing the public access to rare books on the basis of trust, with the help of the newly developed TLACUILO mobile app.

TLACUILO takes its name from the Nahuatl word for ‘scribe’, which in Aztec pictograms meant both painter and writer. This fusion of literature and visual arts is crucial to the project, as is enabling the circulation of formats that might be difficult to categorize.

Reyes explains: "a library that does not lend is a jail for books. To absorb the book’s content, to assimilate its spiritual power, you need time, and for this you need to take the books with you. Books want to be free, free the books!"

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