Living Altar is a multi-room arts space honoring the lives of individuals killed in conflict. In this space, visitors are invited to experience diverse artistic works called “living altars.” Through these pieces, casualties are given a name, face, and story, regardless of origin, gender, religion, social status, and profession. Living Altar aims to offer a space for reflection, introspection, and collective grief in the face of loss, whether of a loved one or a stranger.
In its final form, Living Altar is a duration piece, consisting of successive “living altars” performed in a space that is visible and easily accessible to passersby (such as a storefront or gallery). Live experiences occur during the day, while at night, the day’s performances are played back in video projection form, for night owls to witness. Eventually, Living Altar will take place simultaneously in various cities across the globe, and with the use of a live video feed, will give audiences in each location the choice of watching local performers or their global colleagues.
With information from all around the world at our fingertips, we have never been so connected. And at the same time, we have never been so distant. As death counts add up, the value of a life is reflected in how many seconds it takes us to scroll to the next headline. And even then, our attention span varies from life to life: in the way we relate to death, all lives are not considered equal. As we are confronted with the news of death and conflict, whether close or far, it’s rare for us to find a time or a place to grieve. Living Altar aims to offer exactly that, and perhaps even a chance to heal.
Living Altar's 2017 Work-In-Progress Presentation
Living Altar's workshop at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in 2017 served as the laboratory for Kaimera’s curatorial team and their global partners to test the piece’s format, structure, drafting process, design and presentation approach. Living Altar's 2017 workshop was partially developed through LPAC's Lab Space Grant Program.
Artists commissioned for this workshop include NEON CAVIAR, Lana Abdo, Psychopomp, Candace Williams, Maja Cerar, The Regulars Performance Collective, Brian O'Mahoney, Alix Tucou and Nikki Holck, Eric Aviles, and Artimprojects
Living Altar in Turkey and the UAE
With the support of TCG's ON the ROAD grant, Kaimera Productions sent Simón Adinia Hanukai to visit Istanbul, Turkey, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates to solidify organizational and artistic partners for the implementation of Living Altar. While there, Simón also taught workshops to professional artists and young refugees.
For more information on Living Altar, download the document below: