Features

Konantü

Konantü is a fluid collective conceived and produced by artists Courtney Smith and Iván Navarro. Based in Brooklyn, but with deep roots in South America, Konantü is defined by an ongoing series of participatory performed works.

All images Courtesy by the artists

As a long-time couple and regular collaborators, Smith and Navarro initiated the project in 2015, envisioning an experiential artistic practice in the form of guided exchanges among groups of volunteer participants. As experiments in collectivization, the works take place within a demarcated field of action, where participants navigate the constraints of a constructed apparatus, or respond to a system of relational directives, to commune with each other creatively in a conducted improvisation. The participants, randomly assembled but arranged in precise combinations, work together in coordinated sequences to carry out a given action in repetitive cycles to the completion of the task. The works are designed to activate a subtle negotiation as each individual weighs their autonomy against the pressure of an underlying system, in intuitive cooperation with each other. Using words, numbers, or objects as currency – and music as universal propulsion – Konantü works generate an elaborate interplay of revolving reciprocities, defending an invisible territory for human solidarity and communion.

Konantü was created as an alternative to standard object-based and exhibition-oriented art, which is the background of both Smith and Navarro as sculptors, by proposing the exhaustive consummation or public distribution of the objects connected to the work. Konantü proposes a collective experience, an art made from a connective chain of diffused authorship; an art that is shared, that is adaptable, that is free, and that eludes commodification. Art as a means and not an end.

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