Iván NAVARRO - Mélusine, 2020

Ivan Navarro - Natch und Nebel, Galerie Templon, Brussels, 2014 © Isabelle Arthuis. Courtesy Templon


Born in 1972, in Santiago (Chile). Lives and works in New-York (USA)

Born under Pinochet's dictatorship, Iván Navarro fled oppression for the United States. The artist uses light as a basic material, turning objects into electric sculptures and transforming space through optical games. The process of mirroring offers perspectives that extend the gaze, taking it beyond a simple dimension, towards infinity, endless illusion...

The work for Paris La Défense

For Les Extatiques, Iván Navarro creates a structure reminiscent of the traditional brick wells that punctuate the countryside. The work refers to the ancestral legends that have built the history of his country. Heroine of the eponymous medieval myth (John of Arras, 1392), Melusina, a hybrid creature half woman half aquatic snake, is condemned to haunt the people and watch over them. A dichotomous character, she dispenses goods and power while suggesting the transgression of the forbidden. By plunging us into the heart of this emblematic myth, Iván Navarro proposes a reinterpretation of our relationship to storytelling and narration. He explores the ambiguities of memory and energizes language by playing with double meanings and the gap between truth and appearance. Each neon term is ambivalent. Mater, "the mother" in Latin, protects but dominates; the term in English Water refers to water, a surface that reflects but swallows. In Mélusine, 2020, the well seems to create an infinite underground luminous passage, a metaphor of escape but also of disappearance.

Neon, mirror, one-way mirror, bricks, wood, metal, Plexiglas, wood, plywood, electricity
Courtesy Templon, Paris - Brussels