Dia De Los Muertos : A NEO-TRADITIONAL ART RITUAL
An interactive Experience by Visual Artists' Viajero and Borish
NEW YORK, NY – Brooklyn based visual artists of Puerto Rican and Salvadoran descent, Adrian Roman, known in the artistic community as “Viajero,” and Benjamin Rojas, better known as “Borish,” bring to NYC’s El Barrio a Dia De Los Muertos community interactive art installation. In its third year, the community altar will give people from all walks of life and ethnicities a space to honor the life of those who have passed and celebrate their legacy that lives on. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the installation through rituals of prayers, songs, candles, dance, food, and offerings that can be added to it.
Though the duo intends to incorporate traditional elements into their altar, they want to expand common understandings of the Dia, pushing its boundaries. “Traditionally this holiday is considered a Mexican practice, but by now, the tradition has migrated and transcended cultures. It’s celebrated in Guatemala, Brazil, the United States, Haiti. It's a tradition that people from all over the world can identify with, and we want our altar to reflect that commonality. We created the installation and event to be a raw multi-cultural experience. We are using the traditional Mexican foundation of the celebration and putting our own artistic twist to it.”
The theme for this year’s altar is Migration, both physical and spiritual. The altar will capture this movement from one land to another, from one world to another. It will explore the reasons why people migrate and honor those who have died while in transit. By writing notes to their loved ones on the walls surrounding the altar, visitors will symbolically complete the circle of communication between our world and the spirit world. El Barrio, East Harlem, a neighborhood that has served as the meeting point for so many cultures and to which the artists have built strong ties, provides the ideal place for this altar.
The installation will be accompanied by a full two days of celebration scheduled for Friday November 1, and Saturday November, 2. The Friday event will feature performances from Ase Music Performance and (Aztec Group) Cetilizti Nauchampa Quetzacoalt In Ixachiltlan Ceremony. The Saturday festivities will include a Children's Art workshop in collaboration with Art For Change, an intergenerational art workshop with Mia Roman Hernandez where participants will be able to create memory boxes to add to the altar, a short film screening of Dia De Los Muertos 2012 installation process, an artists Q&A and a multicultural panel on the different ways people around the globe honoring and celebrating their dead.
This years’ Dia De Los Muertos Community Interactive Installation will take place at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center. It is supported by the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Hispanic Federation.
Calendar of Events Related to the Project:
Friday Nov. 1
6:00 - 11:00 - Grand Opening Night of the Exhibition (Altar will be open for real life ritual)
8:00 - 8:30 - (Aztec Group) Cetilizti Nauchampa Quetzacoalt In Ixachiltlan Ceremony
9:00 - 9:30 - Ase Music Performance
9:30 - 11:00 - Installation and Celebration continued
Saturday Nov. 2
12:00 - 2:00 - Children's Workshop: Sugar Skull Masks with Viajero and Art For Change
3:00 - 5:00 - Adult's workshop: Memory Box with Mia Roman Hernandez
6:00 - 6:30 - Short Film Screening of Dia De Los Muertos 2012
6:30 - 7:00pm - Artist Q&A with VIAJERO & BORISH
7:00pm - 8:00pm - Multi-cultural panel of speakers with Diane Fraher (Native American) // Dr. Marta Moreno Vega (Puerto Rico/NYC // Natalie Tejada (DR/Haiti)
For updated calendar and more information, visit diadelosmuertoscollective.com
About Dia de los Muertos Community Interactive Installation: The Dia De Los Muertos Collective was a project founded by Adrian "Viajero" Roman & Benjamin "Borish" Rojas, and includes artists from all genres. Every year onNovember 1st & 2nd, the official celebration dates of Dia De Los Muertos, Viajero and Borish collaborate in creating a Neo-traditional Dia De Los Muertos art installation. This installation focuses on bringing people together to acknowledge and celebrate their ancestors and the lives of those passed loved ones. It’s a way to invite them to be with us in honoring their presence in our lives. Traditions include building private altars and providing offerings such as, photos, flowers, food & drink, tobacco, or personal mementos (lighters, handkerchiefs, perfume, etc.) This is the third year the artists bring this installation to a New York community. The first took place in 2011 at Fresthetic Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Last year’s installation was dedicated to the victims of hurricane Sandy and took place at La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park.