Artist: Iván Navarro
October 26, 2016 – December 23, 2016
Paul Kasmin Gallery
New York, USA.
Upon entering Mute Parade, the viewer is confronted by a towering pyramid of six drums with the words HIGH, TONE, TUNE, BASS, MUTE, and DEAF embedded in LED lights. This monumental work, titled TUNING, 2015, produces a visual representation of sound while simultaneously removing and negating the original function of the instruments; ‘playing a song,’ in the absence of sound. In the center of the adjacent room, two freestanding drums– each six-feet in diameter– incorporate neon, LED, mirrors, and electricity to produce Navarro’s iconic infinite vanishing points. Circular texts, written in light, repeat the words KICKBACKand KNOCKNOCKNOCK in a seemingly boundless loop. The inherent silence and stillness of the artworks creates an uncanny perception of audio and movement, probing the relationship between sight and sound.
A final installation consists of four 6 x 6 foot structures that make up the Impenetrable Room (2016). This new compositional innovation co-opts the materials and format of portable “road cases,” which are customarily used to transport and protect musical instruments. Refitting the cases with mirrors and neon light, Navarro transforms these static objects into deep spaces that appear to reverberate in perpetuity. Silent and monolithic, these self-contained rooms resonate with unspoken narrative power.
Throughout the exhibition, black and white paper squares are scattered across the floors of all three galleries. The words “Read You” and “Loud Unclear,” printed on opposite sides of the cards, call attention to the disjunction between the visual and auditory aspects of communication. Informed by the aesthetics and rhythms of military parades, Mute Parade contemplates the juxtaposed feelings of celebration and intimidation that martial music begets.