Julia P. Herzberg is an art historian, independent curator, and Fulbright Senior Specialist living in New York. She completed her PhD in art history at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, in 1998, with a dissertation on Cuban artist Ana Mendieta. She is a specialist of Latin American artists living in the United States, and has curated more than twenty-five exhibitions. Herzberg was a co-curator of The Decade Show (1990), held in New York at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, the New Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, and she was the curator of the official U.S. representation for the III Bienal Internacional de Pintura in Cuenca, Ecuador (1991). In addition to serving as a consulting curator at El Museo del Barrio in New York (1996–2001), she was a consulting curator for the 2003, 2006, and 2009 Bienales de La Habana, and she is a contributing and consulting editor for Arte al día Internacional. Herzberg has taught, lectured, and published extensively in the United States and abroad and received two J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board awards: one at the Pontificia Universidad Católica (2007) and another at the Universidad Diego Portales (2013), both in Santiago, Chile, and also served as visiting professor at the Instituto de Arte, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile (2016).
Iván Navarro (b. 1972) is a New York–based Chilean artist who works with light, mirrors, and glowing glass tubes to create sociopolitically engaged sculptures and installations. Raised in an industrial area of Santiago during the military dictatorship, Navarro was impacted by the violence and fear surrounding his upbringing. His father was a left-leaning printmaker and teacher who was imprisoned following the CIA-supported coup d’état that assassinated socialist president Salvador Allende in 1973. Both politics and repression influenced Navarro’s later work, particularly in terms of subject matter and media (lights, neon, and electrical hardware). As a child he often experienced electricity being shut off, and his mother often tinkered with electric wiring in their home. His works engage diverse social themes from electric chairs and Chile’s missing activists to modernist design and pictographic branding at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
This exhibition took place in 2012 at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University. It was the first exhibition to address Navarro’s early artistic background and his iconic sculptures of the Nowhere Man series, as well as his video production to date. [For a 2004 interview with the artist from the same catalogue, Julia P. Herzberg, “Conversation with Iván Navarro,” see the ICAA Digital Archive (1469683)].