14 October 2023 - 19 November 2023
The Green-Wood Cemetery /
New York City, United States
Installation view of "Mictlán" by Cinthya Santos-Briones on view at The Green-Wood Cemetery, 2023. Courtesy of Green-Wood. Photo: Cinthya Santos-Briones.
To celebrate Día de los Muertos, The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, invites artist Cinthya Santos-Briones to create a community altar. With the installation Mictlán, on view from October 14 to November 19, the artist explores pre-Hispanic traditions, roots, and the influence of Roman Catholicism on the holiday.
Since 2018, Green-Wood has commissioned one Brooklyn-based artist per year to create and install a large-scale community altar in recognition of Día de los Muertos. This year, by mixing ancient and modern symbols, Santos-Briones shows the influence of the Catholic Church and the colonization of Mexico by Europeans on Mexican culture.
Santos-Briones’ installation, Mictlan, draws inspiration from both ancient and modern conceptions of death in Mexico. The title refers to the underworld of Aztec mythology where souls of the departed spend eternity. The centerpiece of the installation, the community altar, is designed as a pyramid, modeled after the monuments and temples constructed by indigenous populations. This architectural style, along with other practices and traditions, was lost in the sixteenth century, when Europeans colonized the region and forced conversion to Christianity.
The artwork invites visitors to experience a different relationship with death and the dead while thinking about their loved ones. At the same time, visitors are encouraged to consider how they interpret and think about archeological sites and modern rituals.
Free and Open to the Public, the local community is invited to pay tribute to lost loved ones by lighting candles and leaving personal offerings in The Green-Wood’s Historic Chapel.
The Green-Wood Cemetery
500 25th St, Brooklyn,
New York / NY, U.S.A.
Visit schedule: Daily 10am – 5pm