Comprising over 10,000 volumes on virtually every subject—literature, poetry, art, history, science, medicine, anthropology economics, and politics, as well as children’s book–the books were all donated in exchange for artworks created by Helguera. Each book bears the name of its donor on an ex libris plate inside its front cover, pointing to the social history retained within that book. Each visitor is allowed to purchase one book, at a price that they set, substituting the terms of a market economy with those of a gift economy. The money will be directed towards Urbano’s arts education and social justice programs. His work as an educator has usually intersected his interest as an artist, making his work often reflects on issues of interpretation, dialogue, and the role of contemporary culture in a global reality.“Librería Donceles is a project that seeks to respond to two important phenomena in the urban landscape of the U.S: the phasing out of the bookstore and the invisibility of the Spanish language” says artist Pablo Helguera.
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