Fourth dimension: Eduardo Navarro

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One of Eduardo's sculptural pieces.

One of Eduardo’s sculptural pieces. Image: Simon Devitt

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Initial concept drawing of <em>Monumentos</em>, a sculptural work made by Eduardo for Auckland Art Gallery's Space to Dream exhibition (7 May — Sun 18 September, 2016).

Initial concept drawing of Monumentos, a sculptural work made by Eduardo for Auckland Art Gallery’s Space to Dream exhibition (7 May — Sun 18 September, 2016). Image: Simon Devitt

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Eduardo tries on one of his sculptural works.

Eduardo tries on one of his sculptural works. Image: Simon Devitt

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Wall art and alphabet machine by Eduardo at MALBA.

Wall art and alphabet machine by Eduardo at MALBA. Image: Simon Devitt

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Eduardo's workstation.

Eduardo’s workstation. Image: Simon Devitt

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Gallery visitors looking at a wall mural by Eduardo in Buenos Aires' leading contemporary art gallery MALBA.

Gallery visitors looking at a wall mural by Eduardo in Buenos Aires’ leading contemporary art gallery MALBA. Image: Simon Devitt

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The first artwork I did was in collaboration with Mormons,” says the softly spoken Eduardo about his somewhat unorthodox yet increasingly successful career which has also seen him work with a therapist, a homeopathic doctor, a mountain climber and a volcanologist (among others). The Mormon piece, he says, “was a pagoda made from wood,” a reference, perhaps, to his days as an architecture student and continuing his fascination with United States’ artist Gordon Matta-Clark. “I invited [those Mormons] who would often come to my house to come and preach at that space, and invited others to attend and listen.”

Besides the architectural and the unexpected creative collaborations, Eduardo is known for sculptural works, videos and performances. As the Mormon piece attests, he likes situations where he is not entirely in control of his artwork, but those where there is a “fourth dimension” as he calls it: “where the audience is the artwork somehow. I am still working in the same way I think. The idea of collaborating or having the audience collaborating in a way that transforms them.”

Eduardo in front of a work in progress.  Image:  Simon Devitt

His work seeks to create “a moment of purity”, where no judgement is being passed. “I was interested in the idea of not making a statement about whether I was against or in favour of their religion,” he says. “There is an alchemy to this, mixing components and not knowing the result.”

This particular mix of ideas and delivery seems to be gaining Eduardo friends in interesting places. Forbes and ArtNews (New York) have singled out the Argentine. MALBA, Buenos Aires’ main contemporary art gallery, has two of his pieces on prominent display. He is one of a selected few commissioned artwork for the next Frieze Fair in New York and the Auckland Art Gallery’s upcoming Space to Dream exhibition.

“During my research trip [to New Zealand] I was fascinated with the fact that I was constantly told ‘this was introduced and that was not introduced,’” says the artist about the local flora and fauna. This lead him to create a series of bronze sculptures of (introduced) nutshells, a mixture of the nut meat and resin hermetically sealed inside for what manufacturers insist can be up to 2500 years.

He hopes to bury the individual pieces around the city after the exhibition. Is it a statement about time, about our perception of foreign species? Eduardo keeps it slightly more conceptual: “I always wanted to do a time capsule,” he says, “I like that uncertainty of whether there is a past or a future.”


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