Featured Instillation: “Te Espero…” By: Veronica Pantoja

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19 Mar 2014 in Dia de Los Muertos, Mixed Media, Te Espero Installation


El Dia De Los Muertos should never be shrugged off as the “Mexican” version of Halloween. Come on, people that is, just down right ignorant and unnecessarily disrespectful. Whatever ones proclivities, the truth is all of world history, with its diverse cultures, and customs is our collective heritage; to understand and integrate into our individual lives in the present by doing so we make room for ourselves to partake in the timeless and eternal process of being.

El Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is one of any of a number of global customs that celebrate the changing of the seasons marked by the evident decline in Autumn, as well as, its bountiful harvest. This holiday has its roots firmly planted in the mythology of the Native peoples of the Americas pre European invasion. The elaborate rituals and ceremonies centered around these festivities developed in much the same way as Santeria did for the enslaved Africans brought over to this content by European settlers. Both experienced severe oppression by the European Christian settlers, both were forced to figure out creative ways to integrate the forceful imposition of Christian dogma along with their own cosmology and spiritual beliefs, this however is as far as the similarity extends. As both have evolved to very different ends in and of themselves. On the surface all of this looks like a strange hodgepodge of nothing more then silly “primitive” hocus-pocus, meaningless mumbo-jumbo, but there could be nothing further from the truth.

The truth is everything that is born will eventually die. The truth is that the human species is a creature of duality because that is how our brains operate. The truth is whether we like it or not human beings are creatures of mythology. The truth is the human being is the ONLY animal that KNOWS it’s going to die. The truth is that is a REALLY big deal. The truth is we need as a whole ways to cope with that reality. As a whole we need healthy ways to cope with this most finite aspect of life.

Man’s first discovery of ART was not an isolated incident. There was a simultaneous understanding happening and that was the communion with the DIVINE as well. When Man discovered ART Man became aware of the existence of a vastness far beyond the temporal realm something more then the phenomenal world of the physical.

It was a great pleasure and privilege for me to bring this instillation piece to full fruition from beginning to end. This instillation piece was created for and was dedicated to the celebration of the Day of the Dead in 2011. It served as an art piece as well as a sacred space titled “Te Espero…” (I’m Waiting…)

As a sacred space “Te Espero…” is an inspired piece which pays tribute to the eternal enduring essence not of Death but rather Love.

Death as an intrinsic part of Life brings with her the inevitable process of physical decay to all because, decay exposes us to our innate vulnerability, frailty, our own mortality it is in the presence of Death when we are most comforted and sustained by the eternal ever enduring essence of Love. In its function as sacred space “Te Espero…” served as a loving embrace in the face of inevitable loss.


Prayer flags: I was inspired to create prayer flags as the main focal point of this

three-dimensional altar (installation). The intent behind the prayer flags comes from the traditional Tibetan prayer flags used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. They are not dedicated or directed to any specific deity rather as the prayers and mantras are blown by the wind good will and compassion is spread into all pervading spaces.

The same concept applies though these prayer flags have images and these images convey the prayers and blessing from the living to the dead and vise versa for the good of all and to harm none. These prayer flags are visually modeled after catholic banners rather then traditional Tibetan prayer flags. This sacred space takes inspiration from all parts of the world across all time and space in order for me to express my deepest and most personal feelings of love for all to enjoy.

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