The SCAD Museum of Art presents "A Landscape of Events," two large-scale installations by Mexican-American artist Mario Navarro. This exhibition creates a visual landscape in which formal elements are a medium to address larger concerns in the recent history of architecture.
Navarro, who originally studied architecture, defines his artwork as a series of unfinished objects that evolve from one to the next. His research often isolates abstract elements of architecture to highlight the fundamental and phenomenological relationships between them in the systems they form.
Offering a variation of his 2013 artwork, "The Original Accident," Navarro specifically adapted the current installation for the museum’s main wall. The piece includes a constellation of two-sided mirrors arranged in a vertical and horizontal pattern, that, once lighted, create innumerable shades and reflections that reveal an uncanny spatial logic. The second piece, "Greetings from Chandigarh," is an abstract mural of dark geometric forms with a hint of a pattern. These forms are actually taken from the negative space left by the entrances, windows and balconies in the Secretariat building in Chandigarh, India, planned by the late architect and designer Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier. At the time, this progressive urban experiment became the epitome of modernism in newly independent India. The juxtaposition of both pieces evaluates the conflicts in modern urbanism and the social and cultural events that cannot be previewed or even prevented by architecture.
In the process of appropriating or interpreting the legacy of modern architecture, Navarro often includes fictional variables where things unlikely to happen are manifested in front of the viewer. Examples of this are the image of an emblematic building years after it was eroded by its surroundings, or hardwood floor planks that levitate for a seemingly unknown reason. His research focuses on specific architects and designers like Le Corbusier, Luis Barragán or Michael Thonet, and how their heritage has been digested in popular culture outside of specialized circles. Hence, Navarro wonders about the effects of assimilation, decay and other forms of consumption.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website