A couple of days ago, a single ray of light from a clerestory window at Qorikancha illuminated a single stack of bottles from Celso‘s La Luz installation (at left), in Cuzco, Peru. Final night is tonight. Please come by at 7pm and take home a piece of the work. (Photo by C-M; click on the image to see it large.)
Bottles of soda touch on the base of a Spanish arch, on Day 7 of the La Luz install. (Photos by C-M.)
This week, Celso will be wrapping up the La Luz installations at the Qorikancha Museum in Cuzco, Peru. This has been an absolutely incredible project to work on: spending our days studying every corner of this remarkable building, which is a layer cake of both Inca and Spanish history.
This Wednesday, August 29th, represents the last day of installations. At 7pm, every last piece of La Luz will be given away to the public. If you are in the area, please come by and take a piece of La Luz home with you. The event is free and open to the public.
In the meantime, you can gander the last few days worth of installations below. For previous installations — e información en español — click here. Also, see Celso’s blog for additional coverage.
Old and new: the Inca walls that surround Qorikancha were once edged in gold. Here they are topped with golden soda. Seen here: La Luz 08.19, by Celso. (Photos by C-M.)
For the last four days,Celso has been building a series of architectural interventions around the Museo Qorikancha y Convento de Santo Domingo in Cusco, Peru. The museum houses two important structures: the remains of one of the most important temples in the entire Inca empire and a working Dominican monastery that dates back to the 16th century – and which was built on top of and around the original pre-Columbian structure. In honor of the gold that once covered the interior walls of this important Inca shrine, Celso has been creating a series of installations out of golden Peruvian soda titled La Luz. These installations will move around various locations in the museum until the end of the month.
On August 29th, at 7pm,the museum will host a free event in which the public will be invited to take a piece of La Luz home with them. If you are in Cusco, please consider yourself invited!
In the meantime, check out our photo diary of the work-in-progress below. Find more on Celso’s blog.
And a little Spanish borrowed from the museum’s publicity materials:
La Luz es una instalación artística hecha por el artista mexicano-norteamericano Celso, con la curaduría de Vera Tyuleneva. Está compuesta de una serie de estructuras de pequeña escala, diseñadas específicamente para este contexto arquitectónico, elaboradas de botellas de gaseosas peruana. Empleando la luz y el color dorado de esa bebida, el artista rinde homenaje a la luz resplandeciente que emanaba antaño de los legendarios adornos de oro en el temple del Qorikancha. La instalación será movida entre diferentes ubicaciones dentro del museo del 16 al 29 de Agosto.
A las 7pm el 29 de Agosto 2012 – el ultimo día de la muestra – los elementos primarios de la instalación (botellas selladas de gaseosa de 2 litros) serán repartidas gratuitamente al public. Todos están invitados. Entrada libre.
En el intertanto, podrán ver en las siguentes fotos como las primeras instalaciones se han llevado a cabo. La obra no hace uso de materias de construcción y no altera ni daña de modo alguno el patrimonio arquitectónico y arqueológico.
Whoa nelly, I can’t believe it, but with 11 days to go on Celso’s Kickstarter project, we are just a little more than $500 from reaching our goal. We’ve also been featured as a Kickstarter staff pick (see the image at right). So, with the finish line in sight, I’m hoping that I can beg a little bit of assistance from folks who read this blog and are into public art, Peruvian history and nuclear yellow soda. (I mean, who isn’t into nuclear yellow soda?) Even the smallest donations are a boon at this stage of the game. As you may well know, Kickstarter is all or nothing — so if we don’t make our goal, we don’t get a cent.
I also wanted to thank everyone who has donated their hard-earned bucks to the project (for which I will serve as chasqui and studio assistant). It’s been incredibly moving to hear from friends, artists and lots of folks we’ve never even had the pleasure of meeting. Also, a special super gracias goes to The Street Spot and Art Fag City for doing up some super sweet blog posts.
Please consider helping us out if you already haven’t. (And if you don’t have cash, Tweets and Facebook posts are also incredibly helpful!) Thanks again for your help and assistance — and for reading C-Mon.
P.S. And if we make it over the goal even better. It expands the Inca Kola budget!
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.
Celso’s wall of chicha, with C-Monstruo shout-out.
Internacional Privados: An original chicha poster from northern Peru.
A view of the mini chicha disco. Sensory overload in a mere 16 square feet.
Opening night for Celso’s ¡No Habla Español! at Pandemicwas all kinds of fun. Thanks so much to everyone who came out. We danced, we drank, we danced some more — in a teeny weeny discoteca — into the night. The show is up through April 2nd, so you have plenty of time to shake some ass in the mini-disco. Plus, there’s always the closing party (April 2nd at 7pm). See you there!
An addendum: Public Radio International’s show Afropop has an excellent show on the history of cumbias. They have a whole section devoted to Peruvian chicha cumbias, describing their origins and their use of those super duper psychedelic surf guitars. If you want to get a sense of what these Peruvian chicha posters are all about, give this program a listen. Also, here’s a photo essay devoted to Elliot Túpac Urcuhuaranga, of the family behind Publicidad Viusa — makers of chicha posters.
Celso y C-Monstruo: Amores Perros. A Peruvian chicha poster — imported to Brooklyn. (Photo by C-M.)
One of my ongoing fascinations with Lima (which I’ve touched on in the past) is the soup of fog that covers the city about six months out of the year. It’s a phenomenon that seems to soak up all brightness and makes the desert ecosystem (already harsh) look even more apocalyptically inhospitable. It’s alluded to in countless works of Peruvian fiction (from novels by Mario Vargas Llosa to Daniel Alarcón), and is even discussed in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick — in the chapter on whiteness. (It is “the strangest, saddest city, thou cans’t see,” he wrote. “For Lima has taken the white veil; and there is a higher horror in this whiteness of her woe.”)
Which brings to me to my ongoing interest in Peruvian chicha posters — the cheaply-printed band posters produced in an array of neon-colored inks. As Celso pointed out to me during our last trip around Peru, it’s almost as if they produce their own light. Perhaps a requirement in a place where sharp edges are often dulled by the perpetual mist.
This Friday, Celso is going to be showing a collection of these — along with collages and a mini chicha/cumbia disco installation that accommodates two people for dancing (I helped with the soundtrack!!) — at Pandemic Gallery in Williamsburg. But we wanted folks to see what the posters look like installed around the foggy Peruvian capital, so we made a short video about it (see below). It includes a bit of footage from our trip to meet Fortunato Urcuhuaranga at Publicidad Viusa, the family-run studio that originated this look in the ’80s. (It is now widely copied all over the country.) And features some spectacular audio of me mumbling. If you want to learn more, Creative Review also has a great video on these wonderful folks.
Anyhow, please come to the opening this Friday to check out the show! It should be a ton of fun.
¡No Habla Español!
37 Broadway (btw. Kent & Wythe)
Friday, March 11, 2011