2016

Monumental Skeletons

Museo de Arte Popular

The Colectivo Última Hora participates as a guest collection of the Museo de Arte Popular (Museum of Folk Art).

Origin
In 2004, a group of students from the Fábrica de Artes y Oficios de Oriente [Eastern Arts and Crafts Factory] (FARO) of the Ministry of Culture of Mexico City came together to create a collective dedicated to promoting and disseminating culture, with an emphasis on traditional and popular aspects of the country, through the arts.

In a workshop located in the FARO, they turn wire and cardboard into fantasies that evoke death. They have developed small and large scale sculptures and scenery using techniques such as papier-mâché, carpentry and wrought metal work, as well as polymers and resins to give different finishes.

Tzompantli
The Colectivo Última Hora was invited in 2005 to build an enormous <i>tzompantlis</i> in the Zócalo (main square) of Mexico City.

In pre-Hispanic times, tzompantlis (skull racks) were altars where the skulls of those who were sacrificed in honor of the gods, or stone figures that mimicked them, were placed. The skulls designed by the Collective each measured 1.20 meters.

Two 12-meter-high monumental skulls also occupied the main square of Zócalo also known as the Plaza de la Constitución].

Tree of Death Florida
In 2010, the Colectivo Última Hora presented a Tree of Death at the offering of the Zócalo offering in Mexico City.

The structure included a huge 16-meter-high figure of Mictlantecuhtli, god of death, which we can see here between marigold flowers.

In the offering there were also references to other pre-Hispanic deities, such as Quetzalcoatl and Coatlicue.

Thousands of people saw this offering, which they entered through a colorful arch mimicking the entrance to a cemetery.

In the foliage of this Tree of Death, the Collective included elements of flora and fauna which evoked each pre-Hispanic deity represented in the offering.

Tribute to Posada
On the hundredth birthday of José Guadalupe Posada, the Zócalo offering in Mexico City paid tribute to him with a series of skeletons made by the Colectivo Última Hora.

The skeletons emulated some of the scenes drawn by the engraver, like this one depicting Don Quixote, the most important novel in Spanish literature, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

Some 25 people worked together in the Colectivo Última Hora workshop, dedicated to preserving and renewing the Mexican tradition of papier-mâché sculptures.

And the image of Catrina, the iconic character created by Posada, to whom Diego Rivera gave a body in the mural "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central", had to be there.

I die, therefore I exist
The Colectivo Última Hora created a series of huge skeletons for the Zócalo Offering in 2014, which were dedicated to various Mexican writers.

The skeletons lit up the Zócalo for the days on which they were exhibited, and they attracted the literature-reading public.

The writer Octavio Paz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, was one of the people honored in this offering.

Movie skeletons
Recognized for their work with large-scale figures, the Colectivo Última Hora was chosen by the production team of "Spectre", one of the British spy James Bond series of movies, to create skeletons to appear in the movie.

The opening scene of the movie shows the monumental figures in a fictitious Day of the Dead parade in the streets of Mexico City's Historical Center.

Scenes were also filmed in Mexico City's main square Zócalo featuring figures that measured over twelve meters high.

The skeletons were moved like puppets, which shows the great technical and artistic skill of this group.

To commemorate the Bicentenary of Independence and the Centenary of the Revolution of Mexico, the Colectivo Última Hora made a series of devils that participated in a parade.

The devils were moved from the inside to make them look as if they were riding a motorcycle.

The Colectivo Última Hora continues to renew the tradition of the Day of the Dead through its artistic offering, showing that this legendary Mexican tradition can adapt and look to the future.

Credits: Story

Colectivo Última Hora

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