In the work of multimedia artist Ana Navas (1984, Quito, EC) concepts such as transformation, assimilation and appropriation play a significant role. Her presentations often consist of installations in which paintings, objects, assemblages and video work function as ‘domains’ where processes of transformation and assimilation take place.
Looking at the surrounding world, Navas asks questions about the connection between the form and the function of an object, and about the relationship between the original and a copy. Nothing is what it seems in her work. Navas: “I think that the essence of my practice revolves around the search for traces of an object’s background: what do its ‘ancestors’ look like, what influences has the object undergone and in what new contexts could it appear again? Sometimes those traces are real and based on historical sources, and other times the connections that I make are simply imaginary.”
Art, to Navas, is a dialogue with the other, a dialogue not limited to an informed audience but one that generates an echo in a broader field. The most important issues in her work relate to the way in which art is perceived and transformed beyond the context of art itself, and the points at which various disciplines such as ethnology, art and design intersect. She is moreover fascinated by the relationship between ‘high’ and popular culture.
Navas often works on different series at the same time. The conceptual connection between the works takes shape during the installation. With the idea of transformation in mind, Navas therefore regards an exhibition as an ‘essay-like’ moment rather a definitive form. The works are conceived as modules that can be reused for new ‘pieces’. As such they assume new meaning in each new constellation.
Ana Navas was born in Quito, Ecuador in 1984 and grew up in Venezuela. From 2004 to 2010 she studied at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Karlsruhe, where she continued as a Meisterschülerin (MA) with Franz Ackermann from 2010 to 2011. Between 2012 and 2014 she was a resident at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. This was followed by residencies in France, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and The Netherlands. Among the locations where her work has been shown in solo presentations are Pequod Co., Mexico City (2021, MX); Nest, The Hague (2021, NL with Mila Lanfermeijer and Evelyn Taocheng Wang); Sagrada Mercancía, Santiago de Chile (2020, CL); Instituto Cultural de Léon (2019, MX); Crisis Galería, Lima (2019, PE); SCHUNCK, Heerlen (2019, NL); Sperling, Munich (2019, DE); Kunstruimte of De Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam (2019, NL); Schunck, Heerlen (2019, NL); de Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden Baden (2018, DE); Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen (2017, DE); P/////AKT Amsterdam (2017, NL); CEAAC Strasbourg (2017, FR); Abra Caracas (2017, VE) and Nixon, Mexico City (2017, MX). The work of Ana Navas is included in private and museum collections within the Netherlands and abroad.