IVÁN NAVARRO at 53rd Venice Biennale
7 June – 22 November 2009
Opening: 5 June at 12 noon
Curated by Antonio Arévalo and
Justo Pastor Mellado
53rd International Art Exhibition –
La Biennale di Venezia
At the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia Chile will be represented by the work of artist Iván Navarro.
Born in Santiago del Chile in 1972 the artist became quickly known on the international stage thanks to a number of personal shows including, most recently, Nowhere Man (2009) in Towner Eastbourne (UK) and Homeless Lamp, the Juice Sucker (2008), at the Fabric Work Shop & Museum in Philadelphia (USA). He has also participated in the latest Havana Biennial Art Exhibition (Cuba 2009) and in the Canary Islands Biennial (Tenerife, Spain 2009).
For the Venice show, Iván Navarro has created a group of works in a socio-political perspective – a theme woven into all his work.
The artist formalises his Threshold work in three separate elements/moments.
Death Row is composed of thirteen aluminium doors with a neon light inside. This creates an optical hiatus in the space, producing an effect of corridors going through a wall.
Resistance is an installation (sculpture connected to a video): it is a bicycle tied to a chair made of fluorescent pipes which are activated as the pedals go round. In the video the same bicycle goes around Times Square in New York, showing the sharp contrast between luminous urban furniture and the lights generated by the cyclist’s muscle power.
Bed is a circular sculpture placed on the ground. It gives the impression of a deep hole in which the word “BED” is illuminated to “infinity”.
The work poses questions on the possibility of a world beyond the wall, but eliminates the possibility of entering that realm. This element of illusion and the parallelism between the human and electricity, in its industrial and fluorescent expression, are constant features in Navarro’s artistic journey.
The materials he uses, marked by apparent coldness with extreme emphasis on technical aspects, are totally dependent on electric energy, proposing an underlying metaphor of body fluids and their action in generating life and “animating” objects.
On the occasion of the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Chile Pavilion will also show a broad panorama of its contemporary visual arts scene by launching the book Copying Eden. Recent Art in Chile edited by the international curator Gerardo Mosquera, and published by Puro Chile Editions.
The book launch will be on June 4th, 11:00 am, at the Corderie dell’Arsenale, with the presence of Gerardo Mosquera, international curator and author of the book, Iván Navarro, the Italian curator Gabi Scardi, and the artist Alfredo Jaar.
Artist: Iván Navarro
Curators: Antonio Arévalo and Justo Pastor Mellado
Pavilion commissioners: Claudia Barattini and Javiera Parada
Display: Architect Luigi D’Oro
The Chile Pavilion is a 300 square-metre show space inside the Arsenale
Opening: 5th June at 12 noon
Open to public: from 7th June to 22th November 2009
Catalogue published by Edizioni Charta (Milan, New York) 2009
Bilingual (English-Spanish) edition
Text by Anne Ellegood, Justo Pastor Mellado, Antonio Arévalo
Press office for Chile
Elisa Cardenas Ortega