The work by Garrido-Lecca is often based on the study of techniques and materials used in handicraft, art and architecture throughout Peruvian history. The installations presented at the 34th Bienal use ancestral ceramic techniques and weaving as well as materials such as copper, oil barrels, oil, wood, wire, nails and plants. One of her most emblematic works, Insurgencias botánicas: Phaseolus Lunatus [Botanical Insurgencies: Phaseolus Lunatus], 2017, is an installation with a hydroponic structure in which are planted seedlings of the bean species Phaseolus lunatus. As the plants grow throughout the year, the public have the opportunity to accompany different moments of the installation’s transformation, in a movement that symbolizes the process of the Bienal itself, which is being inaugurated now but will be enlarged, transformed and problematized until December. For Garrido-Lecca, the gesture of cultivating the beans becomes a symbolic reactivation of a supposed system of communication of the...Moche culture, a pre-Incan Peruvian civilization that developed complex irrigation systems and which, according to some theories, used the spots present on these beans as signs in an ideogrammatic writing system.
Another notable work is the installation Proyecto país [Project Country], which is part of the series Paredes de progreso [Walls of Progress], produced by the artist between 2008 and 2012, based on research into advertising painted on adobe walls in Peru’s Vale Sagrado region. Built according to a traditional construction technique common throughout the country’s rural territory, these walls are frequently used to display political slogans and logotypes that gradually fade until disappearing completely, or the wall itself crumbles, since adobe, when exposed to the weather, breaks down bit by bit in the landscape. Proyecto país was the name of a small political party that participated in the 2006 Peruvian elections, but which wound up withdrawing from the running and disappearing due to a lack of followers.
To create Divergent Lots, Ximena Garrido-Lecca photographed Pucusana, a coastal district in the province of Lima, for three years (2010–2013). The artist documented a series of structures composed originally of bamboo panels and wooden posts, and which, over the years, begin to incorporate materials such as bricks and concrete. These temporary structures are built with the aim of laying claim to the land in these areas, which have received great migratory inflows since the 1950s, as populations leave the Andean agricultural regions to seek better conditions for life and work in areas of industrial and urban development. The migrant population often erects squatter settlements and seeks forms of survival linked to informal sectors of the economy. The video Líneas de divergencia [Divergent Lines] documents a recent moment in the occupations around Pucusana; the lines marked with chalk in the desert divide already registered parcels of land, demarcating new lots.
Carla Zaccagnini, guest curator of the 34th Bienal, explains: “We begin the 34th Bienal de São Paulo with this series of works by Ximena Garrido-Lecca, artworks that can help us see the relationships that exist between the invention of electricity, the mining of copper, the demarcation of the land, the depredation of the soil and the scattering of peoples. Because we know that art can give us tools to deal with difficult moments, when other languages are fruitless or absent.”
The exhibition is held in partnership with CCA Wattis (San Francisco, USA), which, in 2021, will hold a solo show by the artist as part of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo’s international collaborations.
Neo Muyanga – A Maze in Grace
On 8 February, at 11am, a new performance entitled A Maze in Grace will be staged by composer, sound artist and librettist Neo Muyanga. On this occasion, a 40-voice choir will occupy the three floors of the Bienal Pavilion, around the structure’s iconic building-tall empty space, singing a new composition for the well-known melody Amazing Grace, often sung as a hymn at public mourning rituals in different parts of Africa, while also bearing religious-political connotation for the Afro-American community in the USA. Muyanga’s work proposes a deconstruction under a new perspective of this song, which was composed in 1772 by John Newton, a white British slave trader who converted to become an abolitionist Anglican pastor at the end of the 18th century after a series of near-death experiences. The São Paulo theatrical collective Legítima Defesa, which stages poetic-political actions of reflection on and representation of blackness, is collaborating with the performance, as is also artist Bianca Turner (b. 1984, São Paulo, Brazil), who produced the video-mapping used in the work.
Besides its staging on 8 February, kicking off the programming of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, the new work by Muyanga will unfold in two other moments: in July, the performance opens the 11th Liverpool Biennial, a partner institution in the realization of this work; and the audiovisual installation will form part of the 34th Bienal’s group show, starting in September. As a work composed on the basis of Muyanga’s country, South Africa, and now being staged in Brazil and England, this performance re-links the vertices of the so-called Atlantic Triangle.
According to Paulo Miyada, the exhibition’s adjunct curator, “It is hard to imagine a more fitting way to open the programming of a Bienal entitled ‘Faz escuro mas eu canto,’ since Neo Muyanga reminds us how much a song of hope is marked by violence and cruelty and, then, re-enchants its sound with musical and discursive elements from the history of the Brazilian and African black men and women – precisely those who lead and led the fight for racial emancipation that lends meaning to this song.”
Poetics of rehearsal
One of the guiding aspects of the curatorial work of the 34th Bienal is the notion of “rehearsal,” emphasizing the project’s processual approach, as a space where the things are presented without an aim of being definitive, enlarging the importance of the re-signification that arises from the relationships created over time. It is in this sense that the exhibition design of the solo show by Garrido-Lecca stands as a prelude to the architectural design of this edition of the Bienal, projected by Andrade Morettin Arquitetos. According to Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, the 34th Bienal’s chief curator, “The architecture that holds the first exhibition is likewise constituted as an exercise, the inaugural gesture of a layered construction that will gain complexity over the course of the year. The works by Ximena Garrido-Lecca and Neo Muyanga that are presented now will be charged with other meanings by establishing relationships with the works of other artists. In an analogous way, the space that the architecture already delimits, but which the first movement of the exhibition does not occupy, is not an empty space: it is a space that holds potential.
Entrada actualizada el el 11 feb de 2020
¿Te gustaría añadir o modificar algo de esta ficha?