Updated: Aug 20, 2022
This was an installation titled "Tamal-Arte" consisting of over a thousand tamalitos with wireless LED lights that flickered randomly.
Now in its 20th year, SOMArts’ Día de Los Muertos exhibition is one of the most internationally diverse Day of the Dead celebrations in the United States. Día de Los Muertos at SOMArts merges traditional altars with contemporary installations, continuing to be a multigenerational gathering of remembrance while asserting the role of art as a platform for collective action.
Curated by Rio Yañez and Carolina Quintanilla, this year’s exhibition features special altar structures to honor and manifest founding curator Rene Yañez’s vision for his final Día de Los Muertos exhibition, titled City of Souls, a reference to his 2001 exhibition City of Miracles. City of Souls invites artists who are most directly impacted by gentrification and displacement to engage audience members in dialogue on the future of San Francisco’s cultural identity.
Housed in a translucent, labyrinthine city, this exhibition meditates on San Francisco’s rapidly changing landscape, asking artists and visitors: Who are the ancestors we need to call in to help fight for the soul of the City? What are the people, places, and institutions lost to time that have shaped us? What kind of future can we collectively envision for San Francisco?
Día de Los Muertos 2019: City of Souls is dedicated to Dr. Dawn Mabalon, and to the children who have passed away in ICE custody.
This is my installation piece consisting of over 1500 tamale husks with some LED lights, handmade cempasuchitl, and veladoras. It is 10 feet by 5 feet wide. Next time, it will be freestanding. Graçias Dennis Hearne, Sophie Blue, Anne Ingraham, LaShaune Fitch, Patricia de Larios Peyton, y Céline Wallace por la ayuda y cariño.