Living Altar


A multi-disciplinary performance piece honoring the lives of individuals killed in conflict.

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Through a series of successive 30-minute performance pieces called “Living Altars”, casualties, whether military or civilian, and regardless of origin, gender, religion, status, or profession, are given a name, a face, a story, and equal value. Living Altar is based on information gathered through surveys completed by those close to the deceased. 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, and asks the difficult question: what is a life worth?

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.

With the support of TCG's ON the ROAD grant, Kaimera 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 inspired by Living Altar to professional artists and young refugees. Invited by Art Anywhere, which provides an invaluable art and education space for young Syrian and Iraqi refugees, Simón taught a theater workshop to a group of young refugees ages twelve to sixteen in Mardin, Turkey, a few kilometers away from the Syrian border.

A work-in-progress presentation 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.

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Curation Team: Jonathan Camuzeaux, Simón Adinia Hanukai & Anita Kirpalani

Artists commissioned for the LaGuardia 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.

The workshop was partially developed through LPAC's Lab Space Grant Program.

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