Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
A monument in our city of monuments need not list names or erect towers and sculptures. A monument is what artist Ivan Navarro says it is, and his piece The Missing Monument for Washington, D.C. is a subversive take on what we valorize with prime Mall real estate, as well as what conquests our government sweeps under the rug. Navarro, who was born in Santiago, Chile the year before Augusto Pinochet came to power in a U.S.-supported military coup, honors Chilean folk singer turned activist Victor Jara—who was imprisoned and tortured to death by the country’s military in 1973—in his video piece at G Fine Art. In it, one man kneels while another man stands atop his shoulders, strumming a guitar, both covered in white plastic garbage bags reminiscent of the piles of hooded prisoners at Abu Ghirab. The poem, “Chile Stadium,” written by Jara while in captivity and shortly before his death at the hands of Pinochet’s military is recited in Spanish (an English translation is provided by the gallery on posters). Jara’s words speak of the atrocities he knew he was about to endure: “Six of us were lost / as if into starry space. / One dead, another beaten as I could never have believed / a human being could be beaten.” Throughout the rest of the gallery space, Navarro has collaborated with Courtney Smith, who uses deconstructed furniture with the Flavin-like fluorescent lights that Navarro favors in his work. Their work, Kitchen Sink, also speaks of despair; viewers can walk over the drawer parts and planks to peer into a seemingly endless hole. The exhibition is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, to Saturday, June 28, at G Fine Art, 1515 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 462-1601.