Mixed media installation
457 x 1,169 x 27.5 cm
Ximena Garrido-Leccaâ€™s The Followers is a lovingly crafted reproduction of a burial wall â€“ or nichos â€“ from her native Peru where it is customary to adorn graves with flowers, photographs and objects to accompany the dead into the afterlife. Each niche renders not only a portrait of a deceased person â€“ of their humble luxuries and predilections â€“ but also a portrait of a people annihilated by colonialism. Garrido-Lecca is a strong advocate for the revival of Peruâ€™s indigenous culture, and often makes reference to European art traditions to critique and rebalance history. She conceives The Followers in relation to still life paintings, subverting their Christian interpretation as vanitas or death warnings with traditional Peruvian values which celebrate the cult of the dead. Amidst the baroque decorations, catholic iconography, and kitsch bijoux, the buoyant spirit of an ancient culture becomes intensely and triumphantly evident.