Iván Navarro: This Land Is Your Land
Three water towers, staples of the New York skyline, merge with the street-level landscape of the park in Ivan Navarro’s This Land Is Your Land. The exhibition title is from the beloved 1940 Woody Guthrie folk song, an American anthem and a vocal pull to the freedoms offered in this country for an immigrant population. The towers are elevated to a height above visitors’ heads, allowing them to walk underneath and look up into each sculpture to view the content within. Navarro’s water towers, each measuring approximately seven feet in diameter and standing on roughly eight-foot-tall supports, function as vessels for a vocabulary of the political and personal experience of immigration. The interior of one tower features the words “me” and “we,” another harbors the word “bed,” and a third displays the image of a ladder, each of which is composed in neon light. An internal arrangement of mirrors enables the neon to repeat perpetually. Navarro brings personal memory as a child during the brutal Pinochet regime in Chile and reflection ”on the freedoms of the American experience” to create This Land Is Your Land. The project tackles issues pertaining to social structure and how language can simultaneously manifest liberation and oppression.