The Altar to Our Lady of the Shining Silver Sun / El Altar a la Señora de la Luz del Sol Plateado is an interactive Latin American altar that mixes technology and Latin American customs to examine the mystical versus the mythical, and more specifically, what may be a vision versus an actual break with reality (psychosis). It takes its name from a supposed miracle that occurred in Portugal, where a whole village supposedly saw the sun turn into a huge silver orb that descended upon a religious procession.
The Altar to Our Lady of the Shining Silver Sun tells its story through retablos, colorful tableaus that mix image and text that were most commonly found in Latin American churches during the 19th century. They were kind of like Thank You cards to God for a miracle or other moments of divine intervention. The project consists of an altar made from found materials with seven hand-drawn retablos that animate when sensors perceive you getting closer to the altar. As you see the different layers of the retablos, you're given the sense of the extraordinary, a sense that you are living out a moment of magic in everyday life.
I was recently chosen as one of 20 or so artists to be participating in the Selección Promerica exhibition to be held at the MARTE museum in El Salvador April 26, 2012 through June 12, 2012. From there, a jury panel will pick just six people to go to BAVIC (Bienal Artes Visuales del Istmo Centroaemericano) in Panama in November later this year. I hope to be one of those six.
The project is a large-scale installation (roughly 6' x 8' x 2') and relies on a lot of equipment (monitors, sensors, video cards, a Mac Mini) to make it work. I previously made this once before as my thesis for graduate school and I was able to use equipment borrowed from school. This time, I need to raise about $3,600 for the equipment. This is where you come in– I can't do this alone.
Chipping in means you will not only be in investing in emerging and interactive art, but you'll actually be helping spread the word in El Salvador and other communities in Latin America of just a hint of what's possible when you mix traditional art forms and customs with some of the digital tools now available. This is an idea that can expand and ideally will come to include the voices of the people engaged by the project, hopefully creating a unique platform for expression on issues of the sacred/profane and on issues of mental health/moments of losing touch with reality.
TO SEE THE RETABLOS: Visit www.shiningsilversun.com to learn more about the project and see it in its previous incarnation. Thanks for your support!
PHOTO REWARDS: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elytton/collections
More on retablos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retablo
Original score by composer Angélica Negrón. For more information on her and to hear samples of some of her amazing work visit www.angelicanegron.com.
- (28 days)