Last days of La Luz.


On the last evening, the bottles were illuminated and given away. By 9pm, they were all gone. (Photos by C-M.)

In what has to be one of the intense-surreal art experiences I’ve ever had, Celso wrapped up the La Luz installations at Qorikancha in Cuzco this past Wednesday by giving away all of the soda to the public. It started slowly. A couple of folks took bottles. Others approached tentatively. Within half an hour, word had spread on the street that soda was being given away Qorikancha. Police, old ladies, young boys — all showed up and took home a piece of La Luz. Some told us they’d serve the soda at a celebration for Santa Rosa de Lima, a Peruvian saint whose saint day was the next day. It’s almost as if people felt compelled to give us an explanation for why they were taking a bottle. In less than an hour, every last bit of the installation was gone.

Find pix of the last three days of installations below. And thanks again to curator Vera Tyuleneva, the awesome Willy and everyone at Qorikancha for such an unforgettable experience. I’ll be mulling this over for years.

Day 12


In the windows of the Recinto Inca Mayor, the biggest surviving Inca room at Qorikancha. It was also once alleged to be one of the temple’s most resplendent. The installation was done for a morning.


For the rest of the day, the bottles resided along the edge of the main cloister. In the late afternoon, shortly before 4pm, a single ray of light from a clerestory window illuminated the bottles.


The last rays of light on the stack — which happened to sit before an important ceremonial niche in the Recinto Inca Mayor. Truly a wild sight.

Day 13


Another temporary morning install (and the trickiest one, architecturally): spilling out of the Inca ceremonial fountain in the center of the main cloister.


During pre-Columbian times, the Incas filled this fountain with chicha (corn beer) as an offering. It was allegedly covered with a lid, in the shape of the sun, made entirely of gold.


Another view of the ceremonial fountain, with install.


The wide view, with tourists.


In the afternoon, the bottles were moved to the colonnade that lines the cloister, in view of the Recinto Inca Mayor.

Day 14


The next morning, when we arrived to move the installation to its final spot, we had absolutely brilliant sunshine. (The preceding mornings had been cloudy.) I nabbed this shot from above before we disassembled. The yellow was otherworldly.


The last installation took the form of a ruin, that emerged like a ghost from the main patio.


It was arranged to receive the last light of day.


By late afternoon, the bottles were glowing like crazy.


In the evening, the bottles were slightly rearranged and illuminated. Initially, folks were quite tentative about taking them home, but once the first person took one, they all vanished within an hour.

One comment

  1. Margarita

    I feel lucky to have seen this installation in a couple of different locations within Qorikancha (temple of the Sun). It certainly surpassed everything we expected, and it made us appreciate the imagination that goes into conceiving such a piece. We’re very proud of you Celso!