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Performativity of Mortuary Rituals Fall 2017 Special 2-in-1 Day of the Dead Residency. Arquetopia. Puebla, Mexico

Type: Residencies, Workshops, Exchanges [View all]
Posted by: Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency (Mexico and Peru)
Deadline: Sun, August 13th, 2017

Includes Day of the Dead Arts Techniques Instruction and Self-Directed Art Production

Session Dates: October 9 to November 6, 2017.

Apply Now through Sunday, August 13, 2017. Spaces are limited. Our selection committee evaluates all residency applications when they are received vs. after the deadline has passed. E-mail Chris at

Why is the idea of Death representing Mexico globally? This program addresses the subject of Death as a national totem, by questioning its construction as a macabre source of identity, exploring its relevance in the invention of Mexican modern art and its secularization in popular culture. It explores the performativity of rituals in Mexico and focusing on the mortuary celebrations known as Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).

PERFORMATIVITY OF MORTUARY RITUALS: Exploring the Idea of Death in Mexico is a 4-week critical program that offers competitive professional opportunities for international emerging and mid-career artists, curators, art historians, and students age 22 and over.

This unique program offers critical approaches to the representations of Death in Mexico as a source of national identity. Through the exploration of the myths of its origins, the program will present a complex perspective of the Day of the Dead celebrations. The goal is to provide tools to understand its performativity by approaching complex nuances, including sentimental representations, material culture, and the historical transition in the meanings of death. Through the program, participants will conceptualize their art by engaging their own art practice and medium in critical perspective while observing cultural practices, including mortuary rituals, food offerings, and familial solidarity. The program will also put into context the construction of popular imagery departing from the tension in baroque representations of death, modernization and the macabre, death in the invention of Modern Art in Mexico, and its political implications with visual culture. Participants will also have a chance to place their own art practice in context, having the opportunity to learn diverse art techniques directly related to the imagery and spatial construction of ofrendas (altars) which are central to the celebration of the Day of the Dead.

This program includes 27 hours of instruction in Day of the Dead ephemeral art techniques, including paper, installation, and the edible dimension of the altar; as well as an exploration of José Guadalupe Posada’s imagery and techniques. Participants will have the opportunity to join guided tours and visits to prominent museums in Puebla, altars, graveyards, and relevant sites. Activities are designed to promote intense creative work and artistic dialogue; therefore, artists are expected to allocate self-directed studio hours as part of their weekly schedule. Workshop instruction is in Spanish or English. Participants produce work in our partnered studio in one of Mexico’s most important art museums, in Puebla’s majestic central historic district.

A spectacular, four-story 1939 Mexican Colonial California-style compound conveniently located in Puebla’s central historic district and close to the Zócalo (city square) accommodates the offices, residency space for up to 12 artists-in-residence, and numerous production spaces of Arquetopia. Recently renovated and expanded, the residency offers a large, natural-light studio; a darkroom; a printmaking studio, a ceramics firing facility with a medium-sized gas kiln; a natural pigments laboratory; ten furnished bedrooms; a large dining room; an open-access kitchen; furnished outdoor terraces and viewing decks; a small botanical garden; a research library; and a rooftop lounge with panoramic views of the city.

Technique Instruction:
• 27 hours master instruction, spaced over the 4 weeks
Staff Support:
• Each resident meets weekly with our staff for individualized research assistance/resources, project guidance, reading curriculum, and critiques
• Our residencies are process-based; residents are not required to give talks/exhibitions/workshops
Accommodation and Meals:
• Furnished, private bedroom
• Meals and 24-hour access to the kitchen and dining room
• Wireless Internet
• Use of Arquetopia’s residency spaces including 4th-floor lounge and outdoor terraces
• Shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers
• Housekeeping
Studio Workspace:
• 24-hour access to large and bright, shared art studio with generous natural light
• Personal workspace with large table and wall space
• Some tools provided
• Equipped darkroom provided
• Materials and supplies for the instructional course provided
• Materials and supplies for additional project production not included but available for purchase locally

Fee: USD $645 per week (USD $2660 total for the 4 weeks).

E-mail Chris at

Posted on Tue, July 25th, 2017
Expires on Sun, August 13th, 2017

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