Hobson’s Choice: Ximena Garrido-Lecca at Max Wigram

30 March 2012 By
Hobson's Choice: Ximena Garrido-Lecca at Max Wigram

Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, recommends his favourite exhibition of the week.

21 March to 5 May 2012

106 New Bond Street, London W1S 1DN

Open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 12 – 5pm or by appointment.


Ximena Garrido-Lecca is a young Peruvian artist now living and working in London.  For her first show at Max Wigram’s New Bond Street gallery the artist has installed a number of sculptural pieces that evoke the scattered and makeshift environment of a Peruvian village.  A fountain, a rusting metal screen portraying a condor and strewn with party streamers, a panel combining flattened oil drums and branches crudely connected together, a cactus growing in a bucket underneath a light-bulb and a grubby looking wall, lightly plastered and already sprouting dry grasses, onto which a video is projected, suggest a typical Peruvian social space through approximate – playful even – practical likeness to everyday forms.   Like her previous projects in which Garrido-Lecca has advocated for the revival of Peru’s rich indigenous culture, this show continues her referencing of the troubled history between Peru and its Spanish colonial overlords, who annihilated its people and obliterated its culture and traditions over the centuries before Peru achieved its independence in 1821.  The political nature of the work is made explicit in the video, which shows the annual Toropukllay celebration that takes place around Independence Day in the highland villages of Peru, in which a condor is tied to the back of a bull.  Symbolic of the struggle between Peru and its colonial Western power, the bird pecks at the bull’s back as it staggers furiously around the square as part of the `Blood Festival’.  Uncomfortable to watch, the video re-charges the installation as a disquieting social situation where symbolic elements powerfully evoke Peru’s political and social past and present.  An interesting show, well worth a visit.

Image: Ximena Garrido-Lecca, Paisaje Antrópico (installation detail), 2012, courtesy the artist and Max Wigram Gallery

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