Ivan Navarro

b. 1972, Santiago, Chile

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Ivan Navarro, Death Row, 2006. Venice Biennale, Chile Pavilion, 2009. Photo: © Sebastiano Luciano
Ivan Navarro, Death Row, 2006. Venice Biennale, Chile Pavilion, 2009. Photo: © Sebastiano Luciano

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Navarro's sculptures seem to create space where in reality there is none. They suggest infinity through a simple illusion constructed out of judiciously placed lights and mirrors. Despite their use of mass-made fluorescent tubes —a material widely used by Minimal artists in the 1960s — and their industrial aesthetic, they have a sublime quality, which is more commonly attributed to natural phenomena. For all their beauty, these sculptures can also be fearsome and forbidding: they lie before us like a void and frustrate any desire to enter and explore them. By contrasting seductive aesthetics with a darker undertone, Navarro's works make a powerful allusion to political events in his native Chile and to systems of control and repression the world over.