Ximena Garrido-Lecca’s works thrives on and expose the taut relationship between the cultures of the past and the present, the similitude of instincts to protect and exploit, and the linkages between visuality, materiality and processes. The apparently mundane nature of building materials lies at the infra-thin layer between the two.

In Morfologías de contención (2015) Garrido-Lecca binds together two construction techniques that are, initially an uncomfortable bi-polar ethnography. The metal brackets are a survey of the simple, and surprisingly fragile looking joints used in the wooden construction, particularly for floor and roofs. Not insignificantly they are called strong ties, evoking their own poetry. Each work contains a simple clay brick, a parallel construction method, but in a perfect fit to one another. Their mutual similarities and individual differences fit not only the conceptual art forms of aesthetic order and series, but also principles of evolutionary theory in the illustrations of ‘primative’ bodies of tribes or criminals in the erroneous ethnographic tendencies of 18th and 19th century logic. Arranged in all their variations, theses basic building devices suddenly seem fragile as individual lives. Can we really put our trust in these folds of metal to support us? Or should we be offering some kind of devotion to ensure they keep us secure?

The clay bricks used to construct the pyramids or ’huacas’ in different parts of Lima are known to be produced laid by many people as a devotional act rather than as a simple act of construction. It was the spiritual duty of all subjects in the Peruvian Empires to pay homage to the gods to efface their wrath. This ‘Payment to the Earth’ could be enacted as a ceremony to Pachamama, or, in other ways through the production and laying of bricks in the on-going construction of a pyramid.

Kit Hammonds, November 2015