Iván Navarro and Courtney Smith, “The Ring” (image courtesy the artists)

Since 2014, artists Iván Navarro and Courtney Smith have been collaborating on a series of works that blend sculpture and performance. Chilean-born Navarro is known for his works of neon and fluorescent lights that confront traumatic political histories, such as the legacy of Augusto Pinochet. Earlier in her career, Paris-born Smith made hybrid objects made from deconstructed pieces of furniture. The duo’s projects have included nonfunctional benches made of steel and neon, and the “Yungay Quadrille,” a performance staged in a sculptural installation, during which participants had to speak with and get to know one other attendee for a prescribed amount of time.

The artists’ latest collaboration is “The Ring,” a trio of performances that explores systems of cooperation and sharing. Organized by Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), the performance is part of Exchange Value, a multi-site series of events intended to activate spaces throughout Downtown LA. Each 26-minute performance will feature between 24 and 40 volunteers whose interactions will be based on a set of guidelines. Inside the Garey Building — a massive, new mixed-use complex across from Hauser & Wirth — volunteers will trade symbolic objects in a loosely choreographed ceremony set in a ring of concentric squares, which will remain on view after the performances. Slots for volunteer participants (who must be 21+) are almost full, but spectators are welcome.

Iván Navarro & Courtney Smith, “Yungay Quadrille” (2016), Santiago, Chile (image courtesy the artists)

When: Thursday, July 20, 8pm; Friday, July 21, 8pm; Saturday, July 22, 2pm 
Where: The Garey Building (905 East 2nd Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

More info here.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.