For her first solo exhibition at Max Wigram Gallery, Ximena Garrido-Lecca will install a number of individual sculptural pieces that combine elemental realism and heightened symbolism to conjure a sense of place. From a working fountain, a video projected onto a solid architectural mass, through to a barrier or wall made from flattened oil drums, Garrido-Lecca invests in the way that sheer physicality is able to carry associative history.
By manufacturing and manipulating elements into rough and practical likenesses, Garrido-Lecca uses a form of translation where existence carries historical and cultural power. In response to the actuality of place, through the manipulation and manufacture of the symbolic, the use of found, natural references and other elements, she harnesses a range of associations with Peru’s political and social past and present. Playing with the physicality of place Garrido-Lecca institutes a subtle game between description and implication.
A video of the annual Toropukllay celebration that takes place around Independence Day in the highland villages of Peru, is a central distillation of an iconic power struggle between a huge condor and a bull. The bird sewn to the beast, pecks at its back while the bull staggers furiously around the square in what is also known as the “Blood Festival”. The combination of documentation and symbolism, along with the separate and distinct sculptural elements, acts to mirror centuries of struggle between the indigenous peoples of Peru and colonial Western power.
Sacha Craddock, March 2012, London