Art has long been a form of communication. Though within the society I am surrounding within, graveyards and communication has only ever gone as far as informing me who’s buried in a particular plot with formal words. Grey and weather worth, sadly long neglected showing its age. Go across the Atlantic to Panteon de Dolores, a renowned Mexican graveyard inhabiting hundreds of thousands in their final resting place, each with their own significant style to vividly communicate those inhabiting the graves.
Throughout viewing Dead Art: Mexico City, it was very refreshing to see how Mexican culture vastly applies art in its notions with the dead. Seeing multiple graves in different styles, colours and visuals adds character to the deceased which would otherwise only have be conveyed through formal wording never revealing any inkling of their personalities. This is partially due to Day of the Dead holiday where families visit their deceased relatives in celebration for the dead’s souls. This was shown in Dead Art: Mexico City with communities entering Panteon de Dolores playing music and gathering together as one, such a cultural contrast to what I’m use to which I find fascinating. This strong association with celebrating their dead is shown through the designs of various graves.
Prominently featured in Dead Art: Mexico City, Diego Rivera’s grave is designed with features related to his career as an artist. Castings of his face and hands are also included giving Rivera’s grave a strong presence, which can also be seen on Lucha Reyes’ grave. At its highest point contains a picture of Reyes herself to expel a sustainment of life and underneath a golden wreath meant to symbolise triumph over death. The grandness and distinctiveness of Reyes’ grave compared to those around it certainly achieves triumph over death, though this can be reflected all across Panteon de Dolores. A graveyard which through its artistic communication gives vibrancy to those long parted, though only in physicality.