Ivan Navarro

Lost Hole Way, Chile, 2008

Fluorescent lights, aluminum one-way mirror and electric energy edition of 3 + 1AP 218.4 / 91.4 / 12.3 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris

Ivan Navarro uses fluorescent and neon tubes, which he usually places behind semi-transparent partitions such as doors and fences, or in closed constructions. His works operate, as it were, on the border between two worlds, two realities, or two imaginary dimensions. A central motif of his work, the passages and partitions reflect many years of adversity and yearning for home and homeland. Like Dan Flavin’s, his use of material minimalism enhances the works’ sense of alienation. However, his work also alludes to a narrative towards which the artist leads his spectator. This allusion is evoked, to a large degree, by the political subtext, which is both the subject and the object of his work, in a way somewhat similar to that of Bruce Nauman’s neon works. Navarro’s installations and objects refer to and draw their force from historical events that transpired in his homeland, Chile, during the rule of Augusto Pinochet. After his violent coup d’etat, Pinochet introduced harsh censorship, outlawed left-wing political parties and persecuted their members. Similarly to other contemporary Latin American artists, Navarro’s minimalist language serves him as a means of creating relevant universal contexts, while representing his country’s local reality.