The very first pop-up BLOOP International Proactive Art Festival has just wrapped up at Plaza San Agustín located in the heart of Morelia. The open-air exhibition was titled “THE ALTER” and was for the Día de Los Muertos /day of the dead celebrations.
Originally from Ibiza, Spain, BLOOP is organized by Biokip Labs, a small creative studio based in Italy, which specialises in “COLOURS” and their communication through events, technologies and other mediums. Choosing Michoacán as the backdrop during the Día de Los Muertos consolidated the foundations of the BLOOP, reinventing an even stronger image of the festival dedicated to inclusivity: multi-culturalism and colours. Colours added to “ART IS FOR EVERYBODY”, a powerful medium capable of communicating to an even greater audience worldwide.
Artists invited to join BLOOP for the Día de Los Muertos were Said Dokins (MX), Spaik (MX) and AMADAMA (EU).
Said Dokins chose to harness light and shadows via stencils instead of painting. The artist chose to stencil Calaveras /skulls for his calligraffiti light installation of six consecutive arches: “Aprender es Morir Cada día /To learn is to die every day”. He “drew” these skulls via his signature calligraffiti, mixing occidental and oriental techniques. By day, these skulls were voiceless wooden sculptures that oversaw the plaza and its visitors. By night they came to life through dazzling lights and cast mystical shadows. Exhibiting the transition between life and death, and regardless of race, gender and religion, we humans are all made of blood and flesh, the universal equality of mankind.
Artist AMADAMA plays with Mexico’s authentic Papel Picado /Pecked Paper for the occasion. These multi-coloured streamers usually refer to natural divinities, such as rain, earth, fire etc., agriculture and the Mictlán (the underworld in Aztec mythology). AMADAMA gave his take on this folk art and made them by hand with Amate paper and wood in homage to those who left this living world, paying full respect to the Mexican tradition and classical aesthetics for this special day of the year.
Spaik‘s “Travelling to the Underworld” depicted a portal between this world and the beyond. In the form of lively skeletons, the lost ones walked through the plaza accompanied by warm-coloured fish alebrijes (colourful Mexican spirit guides), creating an unexpected harmony with the antique plaza made of monochromatic stones.
Based on the festival’s ethos, “ART IS FOR EVERYBODY”, BLOOP KIDS opened doors to welcome any child of any age to participate in free creative workshops. Aiming to help new generations, prospective artists and creators, take their first steps into art and colours as tools for expression. One of the initiatives that have been a part of BLOOP since its pilot edition.
Cantoya lanterns that floated towards the skies was a reminder of the loved ones who passed, and Mariachi music was another element within the open-air exhibition, “the Alter”. Every artwork was a fusion between inclusive art and Día de Muertos customs, aesthetics and colours, creating a transcendental synergy between the pop-up festival and the religious fiesta. Through the power of art, BLOOP exhibited the essentiality of preserving tradition and culture and that the past is scary and must not fade or be forgotten. Creativity drives us towards the future and guides us to reunite with the past.
These mutual dialogues with the local community and culture were another milestone for free, comprehensible and inclusive art since proactive art needs the participation of the spectators “to think” to complete.
BLOOP has always sought to create dialogues and stimulate active involvement of the locals in all cities where it has held the event, curating the artworks and events, so they are comprehensible for the public of that specific place. Pop-up BLOOP Mexico was a groundbreaking approach to art and proactivity through a reinterpretation of one of the oldest traditions worldwide, creating a magical exhibition in the city’s heart, where tradition and art met in a wonderful carousel of colours.
Photo Credit BLOOP / Photo Credit Santiago Fraga