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Lost & Found
Plastic and metal. Bits of trash, mementos of contemporary life (its necessities, pleasures and vices). We may ask ourselves: how do these items appear so often in a context so foreign to them? Who throws them away? Why? These everyday objects, both dangerous and unusual, found on the beaches of Rosarito (Baja California, Mexico) seem to float, deformed and rusted, in their solitary inner tragedy, arranged on a dark surface that amplifies a disconcerting beauty and a sense of unease.
Lost and Found is a catalogue of images in which documentary and art photography are interwoven as a tool for reflection and protest, all the while charged with a certain irony. Are these photos a reflection of our ecological nihilism and a growing fetishization of objects of desire, once consumed and discarded? Without sounding alarmist, yet sincere in his position, Louie Navarro's work questions a toxic reality that permeates and weakens the public space we all share. At the same time, in a direct way and free of artifice, he makes visible the earlier history of use of the object, which has now become litter.
Through this on-the-ground recycling and his almost curatorial labor, Navarro converts these trivialities of consumer society, symbols in and of themselves of progress and comfort, into exhibits of evidence halfway between advertising and the pop guerrilla actions of the best of Adbusters. New objects of dialogue, critique and debate in the face of the unaddressed discourses of progress, quality of life and the environmental cost of our societal neglect.
Rafa Saavedra, August 2011
Translated by John Pluecker