Deadline: 12 September 2016
Call for entries

Performativity of Mortuary Rituals Fall 2016
Special International Program:
Exploring the Idea of Death in Mexico
Arquetopia Foundation – Puebla, Mexico
Apply Now through Monday, September 12, 2016
Performativity of Mortuary Rituals Fall 2016: Exploring the Idea of Death in Mexico
Special 2-in-1 International Fall Residency Program, Includes Day of the Dead Arts Techniques Instruction and Self-Directed Art Production

Session Dates: October 10 to November 7, 2016
Apply Now through Monday, September 12. Spaces are limited.
E-mail Chris at

Arquetopia’s special international residency program exploring the performativity of rituals in Mexico and focusing on the mortuary celebrations known as Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Why is the idea of Death representing Mexico globally?

This program addresses the subject of Death as a national totem, by questioning its construction as a macabre source of identity, exploring its relevance in the invention of Mexican modern art and its secularization in popular culture.

PERFORMATIVITY OF MORTUARY RITUALS: Exploring the Idea of Death in Mexico, Special International Fall Residency Program (with Day of the Dead Arts techniques instruction and self-directed Art Production) is a 4-week critical program that offers competitive professional opportunities for international emerging and mid-career artists, curators, art historians, and students age 23 and over.

This unique program offers critical approaches to the representations of Death in Mexico as a source of national identity. Through the exploration of the myths of its origins, the program will present a complex perspective of the Day of the Dead celebrations. The goal is to provide tools to understand its performativity by approaching complex nuances, including sentimental representations, material culture, and the historical transition in the meanings of death. Through the program, participants will conceptualize their art by engaging their own art practice and medium in critical perspective while observing cultural practices, including mortuary rituals, food offerings, and familial solidarity. The program will also put into context the construction of popular imagery departing from the tension in baroque representations of death, modernization and the macabre, death in the invention of Modern Art in Mexico, and its political implications with visual culture. Participants will also have a chance to place their own art practice in context, having the opportunity to learn diverse art techniques directly related to the imagery and spatial construction of ofrendas (altars) which are central to the celebration of the Day of the Dead.

This program includes 27 hours of instruction in Day of the Dead ephemeral art techniques, including paper, installation, and the edible dimension of the altar; as well as an exploration of José Guadalupe Posada’s imagery and techniques. Participants will have the opportunity to join guided tours and visits to prominent museums in Puebla, altars, graveyards, and relevant sites. Activities are designed to promote intense creative work and artistic dialogue; therefore, artists are expected to allocate self-directed studio hours as part of their weekly schedule.
Workshop instruction is in Spanish or English. Participants produce work in our partnered studio at one of Mexico’s most important art museums, in Puebla’s majestic central historic district.

Museo de Arte Ex Convento de Santa Mónica is one of Mexico’s most prominent religious and colonial art museums. Its collections were formed in the 1930s with artwork from the 16th through 17th centuries including some of the greatest artists of the New Spain such as Juan Correa, Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Jerónimo de Zendejas, and Lorenzo Zendejas, among others. The museum also records monastic life in different periods of history, from everyday life to religious rituals.

Term of 4 weeks. Dates for this program are fixed, from Monday, October 10 to Monday, November 7, 2016.

Technique Instruction:
• 27 hours master instruction, spaced over the 4 weeks
Staff Support:
• Each resident meets weekly with our staff for individualized research assistance/resources, project guidance, reading curriculum, and critiques
• Our residencies are process-based; residents are not required to give talks/exhibitions/workshops
Accommodation and Meals:
• Furnished, private bedroom
• Meals and 24-hour access to the kitchen and dining room
• Wireless Internet
• Use of Arquetopia’s residency spaces including 4th-floor lounge and outdoor terraces
• Shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers
• Housekeeping
Studio Workspace:
• 24-hour access to large and bright, shared art studio with generous natural light
• Personal workspace with large table and wall space
• Some tools provided
• Equipped darkroom provided for photographers
• Materials and supplies for the instructional course provided
• Materials and supplies for additional project production not included but available for purchase locally

USD $665 per week (USD $2660 total for the 4 weeks). Residency Fee due within 1 week of selection notification.

Visit the Arquetopia website at
Complete and submit the Arquetopia Artist-in-Residence Online Application Form, following the instructions on the web page.
Following selection, applicants are notified immediately via e-mail.

Arquetopia is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our diverse local and international community. Arquetopia’s resident artist and staff backgrounds vary in all aspects. As part of Arquetopia’s mission is to promote diversity, Arquetopia actively fights discrimination by offering access to its programs and activities without regard to race, color, gender or gender expression, national origin, age, religion, creed, or sexual orientation.

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