Francisco Navarrete Sitja

Francisco Navarrete Sitja is the winner of the exchange grant 2020 for a residency at art3 (Valence, France) during December 2020 -March 2021.
Thanks to the collaboration of art3 and the support of Institut Ramon Llull and Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Francisco Navarrete Sitja‘s research questions representations in relation to territory, nature and the materialities of the non-human as they manifest themselves in multiple environments, from landscape to identity expectations.
He works by combining expressions of visual language, archives, legal documentation, graphics, video, soundscapes, and contemporary images through different strategies, forms and media.
His work addresses hegemonic narratives and perceptions of collective territorial imaginaries and the symbolic meanings attributed to the materialities that articulate these imaginaries.
His intention is to interrogate the historicity of diverse socio-political and geographical contexts and explore the instrumental relationship that underlies them. He has worked with communities that share memories and imbalances due to extractivism, depopulation and climate crisis, among others.

“This project questions the configuration of socio-territorial imaginaries and how we project our identity into the landscape. In this sense, the project comes from my interest in the representations, strategies, devices and agencies that the nation-state uses to construct a system of appropriation in the way a certain territory is to be perceived, represented and understood.
The starting point of the project is the concept of “Chilean Switzerland” or “the Chilean Alps region”. This concept is based on the notion of “virgin nature”, although “civilised” and “modern”, which has been promoted in Chile and in the world through graphic and literary representations.
This denomination has been used to redefine the Araucanian territory and the “Chilean landscape” in the collective memory, taking as a reference the representations of alpine landscapes in Europe.
In this sense, from this homologation of the “alpine landscape” with lakes, forest, rivers and mountains in the south of Chile, I have
In this sense, this homologation of the “alpine landscape” with lakes, forest, rivers and mountains in the south of Chile, I ask myself what is the impact of this denomination and how it contributes to “nationalize nature” in the national imaginary and to “nationalize the idea of nation” in a colonial perspective of Europeanization.
To explore this, I work with representations using driftwood, water reflections, water mirrors, dust in the water and the textures of the rocks of the Alpine and Andean lakes as a way of creating a narrative (ex-centric position of the human category) that reflects how we project our national identity through the landscape.
Through the representation of these materials and phenomena, I develop different works that question the consequence of these projections in our utilitarian understanding of nature, what is non-human and natural for a nation-state, and how this dominant narrative would be a justification for transforming, exploiting, eradicating, and exterminating what we call natural.” FNS