Modern Art Monday Presents: Ivan Navarro’s Homeless Lamp, The Juice Sucker

Homeless Lamp
All Photos By Gail

Ivan Navarro uses electric light as his primary medium, appropriate the austere visual language of Minimalism and imbuing it with political resonance.  For Homeless Lamp, the Juice Sucker (2004–05),  he built a grocery cart out of fluorescent tubes and, with it, wandered to the gallery-lined streets of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The luminous sculpture evokes the work of Dan Flavin while also  referencing an object commonly repurposed by homeless people for storage and transportation.

Ivan Navarro Video

Scored to the Mexican revolutionary song “Juan Sin Tierra” (John the Landless), the accompanying documentary video follows Navarro and a friend as they search for public electricity with which to eliminate the sculpture. presenting the artist as a transient figure, Navarro offers a personal allegory for his early attempts to gain access to the New York art world as well as the difficulties faced by migrants in establishing connections with the place to which they have relocated.

Homeless Lamp

Photographed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City during the Storylines exhibit in 2015.

 

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