A Space Where The Sacred Meets the Profane
With Halloween just around the corner and Mexico’s Day of the Dead right after it, the vernissage Inside the Altar fuses North American culture and Mexican folklore to create a space where these two worlds can coexist harmoniously.
“We are taking advantage of the Day of the Dead in Mexico to make a commentary about cultural appropriation,” said David J. Romero, a Concordia graduate and co-curator of Inside The Altar. Romero is also contributing artwork to the event.
The name of the exhibit was inspired by the Mexican festival, which takes place Nov. 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day onNov. 1 and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2.
An altar is a sacred place where sacrifices and offerings are made for religious purposes. “We want to give an insight of this sacred place with the mixture of pop culture and contemporary art,” said Romero.
The Paper Apartment Gallery opened its doors two summers ago with the help of Courtenay Mayes, a Concordia fibres student. Mayes will play host to this event that not only blends together two cultures, but also a variety of art forms.
“We wanted to bring the sacred of Mexico’s holiday and the profane of North America’s Halloween into one space, and that’s where the idea of having a selection of artwork came from,” said Romero.
The exhibit will come to life with an installation by David J. Romero, paper art by Chilean artist Andrés Chavez, paintings by Concordia students Sophie Edell and Kendra Bramson-Bowes, projections by Courtenay Mayes and Sadaf Hakimian and live musical performances by Memory Screen, Heartbeat Hotel, Grimes and DaPinkNoise.
“It will be a visual experience as well as a listening experience,” said Mayes.
Inside the Altar is a fundraiser event for a show taking place next year called Contemporary Alchemy, a mixed-media exhibition that was the initial reason all the artists involved with Inside the Altar got together in the first place.
Contemporary Alchemy is based on Carl Jung’s quote: “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
“We wanted to come up with this different kind of concept and address alchemy through Jung’s point of view,” said Romero. “The production of the show started this summer, and that’s when we realized we needed a bit more help; [we’re] all students and we need to get some funding,” he said.
Art works will be for sale at the event. All proceeds go towards Contemporary Alchemy.
Grab your costume (ghosts and skeletons are strongly encouraged due to the exhibit’s theme) and join the cultural fusion of Inside the Altar this Friday Oct. 29. The vernissage and art sale beings at 6 p.m. Musical performances start at 9 p.m. There will also be Tarot Card readings, arts and crafts and cheap drinks. The paintings start at $10 and a donation at the door is suggested.
The Paper Apartment Gallery is located at 3655 Saint-Laurent Blvd., Apt. #206.
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 11, published October 26, 2010.