Today, my partner-in-crime, El Celso, will begin producing a series of architectural installations around the site of Qorikancha and the Convento de Santo Domingo Museum, in Cusco, Peru. Through the end of August, he will create various site-specific arrangements — using bright yellow Peruvian soda — to pay tribute to the gold that once covered the walls of what was once the Inca Empire’s most important temple. On August 29th, there will be a closing party at 7pm, in which the public will be invited to come and take a piece of La Luz (The Light) home with them. If for some reason you find yourself in Cusco, please come!
For regular readers of the blog, you’ll know this started off as a Kickstarter project back in April. And, now, here we are in Cusco — studying ancient ruins, poking around the corners of an important monastery and just generally soaking up the history of the place. This is really a dream-come-true (even if my every bone is aching from hauling around 1,300 pounds of soda at 11,000 feet above sea level). And the folks at the museum and the people of Cusco in general, have been all kinds of awesome.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us in this project. For those who contributed to the Kickstarter, you are all officially thanked right here. (Though I’d like to thank you again!) I’ll be posting occasional updates. For all the latest, check out Celso’s blog.
Also, fyi, the project got a plug in The Art Newspaper.
Twice a year, the Qorikancha museum has a contemporary art contest that draws entries from around Cusco and Peru. Above: the winning entry, Perturbación de la memoria, by Edwin Yuri Huaman Huillca.
Announcing the winners.
In the exhibit, I saw some nice use of materials. A work by Nilton Melgar Carrión incorporates canvas, cardboard, trash bags, hair (or fur) and Andean textiles.
Last week, I attended one of the better art openings I’ve been to in a long, long time. The Museo Qorikancha, the museum attached to the ancient Inca site and Dominican monastery in Cusco, held a reception for its semi-annual art contest. For the last eight years, the museum has been putting together a collection of contemporary art and supporting local and regional artists through a regular exhibition program and art contests. This year’s theme was ‘Memory’ and the show provided a good opportunity to take in the local scene. Things really got interesting halfway through the opening reception when the building lost power. In fact, the lights never came back on. Not that it mattered to anyone at the opening. Folks promptly lit up their cigarettes and used their cell phone lights to admire the art. Then the Dominican monks laid out a table of wine, which somehow everyone was able to find in the pitch dark.
Schematic for La Luz, to be installed by Celso at the old Inca sun temple in Cusco, Peru.
Yes, I’m asking for money.
This summer, I’m going to be working as studio assistant/translator/chasqui for my partner-in-crime Celso on a series of installations that will go up at the Qorikancha the old Inca sun temple in Cusco, Peru. For the project — which is titled La Luz — he’ll be building a series of architectural installations around the ruins grounds (and the attached Dominican monastery) using several hundred bottles of Inca Kola, the nuclear yellow Peruvian soda (see images above and below). It will be a pop paean to the gold that once covered the site. The piece will be pulled apart and re-installed in a new location every three days. At the end of each installation, the public will be allowed to take the Inca Kola home.
The museum that manages the site, the Museo Qorikancha y Convento de Santo Domingo, has commissioned the piece. But as with most arts institutions in Peru, the budgets are tiny. Which is why we’re asking for your help. This is going to be a beautiful project — unlike anything the museum has ever done. So pleasepleaseplease help us get to Peru! Any donation, no matter how small, makes a difference.
Please click through to Celso’s Kickstarter to send us your pennies. We have all kinds of goodies for rewards. And we promise that your donations will be wisely and prudently spent (on lots of Inca Kola). If you’re a regular reader, please think of this as a way to help me keep doing what I love to do — namely, writing about great-weird art I find wherever I happen to be.
Thanks so much! And thanks for reading C-Mon!!!