Ishmael Randall Weeks (b. 1976, Peru) makes his sculptures and two-dimensional works from adobe, mineral substrates, rattan screens, mud, glass and metal. They constitute a world that emerges from history and memory, navigating between the contemporary, the archaic, tradition and folklore. Often taking the visual form of functional objects, they are stripped of their productivity to address notions of labour and utility, and force a re-examination of our understanding of culturally specific forms, while exploiting and adapting their particular codes and associations. Randall Weeks weaves together Mesoamerican and Arabic motifs, anthropology, politics and archaeology, whilst also adopting industrial design nuances, where the influence of Russian Constructivism and Suprematicism (Vladimir Tatlin and Kasi- mir Malevich), the Neo-Concrete artists of Brazil (Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark), Mexican Modernism movement (Matías Goeritz and Luis Barrangan) intertwine to open up a dialogue on structure, fragility, form, and popular culture within the creation of ‘new’ cities.
Exhibited together are wall-based, suspended and floor sculptures. Randall Weeks’ floor sculptures respond to spatial relationships of the human body, linking individuality to collective group mentality. Chakana Penetrable, a hinged brass structure, is made from the repetition of simple geometric rectangles and squares based on the symbolic nature of the ‘invented’ Inca Cross mixed with a visual reference to Oiticica’s Nucleos and Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulations. The work evokes conversations about boundaries and their subsequent limitations.
The wall-based works include: Formas Básicas (Basic Forms), a large square composition comprising smaller squares that make up a mosaic, incorporating fundamental symbols and motifs drawn from the vocabulary of urbanism and architecture and conceived as a puzzle - its parts assembled in a fragmented manner that can be arranged or rearranged in a multitude of ways; three related works, Tributo a Malevich (Tribute to Malevich), which connect more specifically to Russian Suprematism; the intimate Código Atemporales (Timeless Codes), which like time capsules capture layers of collected soil and materials, laid down like sedimentary plates; and finally, Two-Way Mirror, Biombo/Mashrabiya comprised of hand woven rattan screens framed by wood and metal, recalling the colonial Hispano-Moresque Balcones de Lima, wooden balconies with their roots in Arabic mashrabiya screens.