ivan navarro places infinite neons within water tower sculptures
original content
feb 26, 2014
ivan navarro places infinite neons within water tower sculptures



ivan navarro places infinite neons within water tower sculptures
(above) installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

 

 

 

madison square park conservancy’s ‘mad. sq. art‘ presents a site-specific exhibition by brooklyn-based chilean artist iván navarro, situated within the garden of one of new york city’s most iconic landscapes. positioned in front the towering flatiron building, the luminous sculptures merge a staple of the skyline with the street-level scenery. ‘this land is your land’ comprises three wooden water tanks, stilted eight feet about the surface of the ground and elevated to a height just above visitors’ heads. in their interior, navarro has worked with his trademark medium — neon; looking inside one of the towers, visitors can read the words ‘me’ and ‘we’, another features the word ‘bed’, and a third displays the image of a ladder — all of which are composed of a brilliant neon light. an internal arrangement of mirrored panels infinitely reflects each word or image, repeating it perpetually through a seemingly endless vertical space. the exhibition is on view daily until april 13th, 2014.

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installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

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installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

 

 

the artist takes the exhibition’s title from the 1940 woody guthrie folk song, which is both an american anthem and a vocal reference to the freedoms offered for an immigrant population. referencing his own experiences, the sculptures represent the vast expanse of the american landscape and a democratic society pursued by millions of people. navarro elaborates, ‘i like the idea of a reservoir of water. this simple and timeless wooden structure contains water—the most primitive and elemental resource, the essence of human sustenance, and a reminder of the basic condition that all humanity shares. we must guarantee our water in order to survive. in that sense the water tanks are containers of primordial knowledge. their form and material are equally archaic: they are simple circular huts with conical roofs, made of wood. less obvious but nonetheless important is their reference to watchtowers due to their elevated position. although they are benign objects, there is the sense that they are quietly surrounding us, surveying the city below. these water towers metaphorically function as tall ornamental crowns on the tops of the large buildings that dominate the urban landscape. they punctuate the glory of modern civilization while reclaiming its humanity.’

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installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

ivan-navarro-this-land-is-your-land-designboom-08
installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

ivan-navarro-this-land-is-your-land-designboom-11
installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

ivan-navarro-this-land-is-your-land-designboom-15
installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

ivan-navarro-this-land-is-your-land-designboom-12
installation view of iván navarro’s ‘this land is your land’ in madison square park, 2014
photo by james ewing photography, new york / courtesy of madison square park conservancy

 

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