Children’s Jail at BalinHouseprojects – 24 June 2007 from 3 to 7 pm
Eduardo Navarro’s work makes real life seem strange. Since 2004 the Buenos Aires-based Argentinean artist has deftly framed real situations without seeking to judge those involved. A marathon against smoking, a retreat for UFO watchers, a Mormon bible group, a therapist’s practice, and a drawing project by female ex-convicts have all been invited into Navarro’s practice in the spirit of detached but respectful exchange. In each case while the artist’s intervention has been physical, for instance a costume, a room or a shelter, he has been open to unpredictable outcomes, having the trust and sensitivity to stand back and allow other players to complete the work. Navarro himself has said, ‘My works are questions awaiting an answer’.
At BalinHouseProjects he is showing selected drawings produced from 2003 to 2007. Over this period Navarro has produced hundreds of pencil line drawings on A4 computer paper. While some incorporate materials such as glue, pencil shavings and drinking straws, the paper coverage is restrained. A larger piece is made of dead ants glued to the page over a period of a month. The viewer might wonder how many. 2000? 3000?
To view a number of the drawings in series is to encounter a rapid-fire of unsettling and ambiguous visions, disorientating scale and abstract space. Pictographs and impossible systems follow rearing horses playing tambourines, a pair of smoking balloons and a toilet morphing into a set of teeth. They are in turns sometimes dark and funny, leaving a disturbing after image. Discussing his drawing Navarro recalls the films of David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick’s, ‘A Clockwork Orange’.
The drawings are produced spontaneously, as a child might make a drawing in a single attentive sitting. Navarro tries to make the drawing ‘draw itself’, setting out without knowing the final destination. In the result it is not always possible for the viewer to unravel how he got there.
The present exhibition concludes the artist’s first visit to Britain. It follows a ten-week residency (16 April – 22 June 2007) organised by aspex, Portsmouth and based at the University of Portsmouth’s school of art. While in Portsmouth, Navarro created ‘AMEN’, a new work which temporarily transferred a used washing-machine shop into a church, and then recreated the church in a bare university lecture room.
The Vulcan Building
Portsmouth PO1 3BF
023 9277 8080