Blah, Blah, Blah by Mel Bochner: Murals of La Jolla’s Newest Addition

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library has announced the newest member of the Murals of La Jolla family! Blah, Blah, Blah, by Mel Bochner at 1111 Prospect Street is set to be fully completed by Thursday, May 14 and will be included on the next Murals of La Jolla monthly tour (Wednesday May 27 at 5:30pm). The mural replaces Ryan McGinness’ 53 Women, which has been on display since 2011 on the back side of the former Hotel Parisi building.

At first glance, Mel Bochner‘s mural appears as stark, bold, abstracted shapes; once the viewer engages the piece more closely, however, they can identify the phrase “Blah, Blah, Blah” scrawled repeatedly. He deploys this phrase instead of the singular use of the word “blah” for a particular – and pointed – effect. It communicates a critical commentary on the blather of advertisers, politicians, bloggers while also critiquing the social media world of texts and tweets. Bochner creates a parade of words that shamelessly demand attention.

murals of la jolla mel bochner

Mel Bochner, Master of the Universe. Courtesy Peter Freeman, Inc.

SEE ALSO: The Stuart Collection at UCSD

“We live in a world that is over-saturated with empty language,” said Bochner. “Small talk, tweets, texts, leet speak, chit- chat, pop–up ads, telephone-answering messages (“your call is important to us…”), warnings on medicine bottles, etc. If there is no escaping this linguistic tsunami, the Blah, Blah, Blah paintings subvert it from below.”

Bochner’s career has long been driven by a fascination with words, language and interpretation; he was one of the first to examine language in the visual arts form, which provided a launching point for the Conceptual Art Movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Along with fellow artists, Sol LeWitt, Dan Graham, and Robert Smithson, Bochner’s work sought to renegotiate the artist’s relationship to expression and material.

Blah, Blah, Blah is a triptych measuring 108′ wide x 18′ high; it joins thirteen other murals as part of the Murals of La Jolla exhibition currently installed throughout La Jolla.


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