Pasar A Mejor Vida
(The Faithful Departed)
An edible sculpture honoring the lives of those who embarked in a journey and gave origin to whom we are now. Pasar a major vida celebrates the journey of the departed, inspired by the festivities that mark the end of the harvest season and commemorating the multiple diasporas and immigration experiences that enrich our lives collectively.
Drawing from celebrations that honor the harvest, the cycle of life and death as a passage to the next world – like Samhain, All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and Day of the Dead – this installation marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of a period of darkness when the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolves. Ritual, food and light take on a special significance as the departed are honored.
The concept of departing takes special relevance, considering the context where the sculpture is taking place. Pier 21 was one of the main ports of entry for immigrants into Canada. Therefore, in this piece I want to collectively explore the ideas of movement, sacrifice, hope, transcendence and departing.
Pasar a mejor vida uses a combination of seasonal foods and ingredients that have historically related to the movement of people across the globe. The pieceinvites the viewer into an alternative aesthetic experience, stimulating one’s senses with the flavors and aromas of pumpkins, various squash, turnips, sweet corn, apples, pears, peaches, plums and spices and Day of the Dead bread, while connecting the rituals of eating with the collective experience.
Using various fruits, vegetables, grains and spices, a life size sculpture of my body will be built lying on a table as an offering. The food as a whole in the shape of the sculpture will embody the ephemeral condition of human being’s existence by playing with the concepts of presence and absence subject to temporality and memory. The viewers will be invited to dismantle the sculpture and take the pieces home, to cook. As an extension of the offering they will receive written instructions on how to cook with those ingredients and share them with the community. The purpose of the piece is to create a space to exercise generosity beyond temporality and in the intimacy of the viewer’s home by extending the ritual into their kitchens and tables.
Preparation and Installation Description
Based on the traditional structures for arranging fruits & vegetables at the Mexican markets (see below) and inspired by the exuberance of Giuseppe Arcimboldo a sculpture made out of fruits, vegetables, grains, spices and Day of the Dead bread will be built on a table. The sculpture with approximate dimensions of 173 cms (68 in.) long x 60 cms wide (24 in.) x 25 cms (10 in.) will include apples, pears, plums, peaches, squashes, turnips, sweet corn, cinnamon, Day of the Dead bread & pumpkin lanterns, as well as any other seasonal fruit or vegetable available. The piece requires a 7 ft by 3 ft table or tables with a tablecloth. The food is placed for the day of the opening and through the course of the evening people will be invited to take it home along with written instructions. RecipesTheEdibleShow sketch