The word Bembé comes from the Yoruba people of West Africa. The term "bembé" can refer to a variety of things depending on the context, including a type of drum, an ethnic minority, a religious ceremony, a style of dance, a genre of music, a wooden platform, and more. A Bembé, in Puerto Rican slang, is a massive party. El Bembé: Celebrating Life and Death en la Sala will be my second multimedia installation project, building off of my recent project El Salón: Reimagining Self-love, Rituals, and Healing in the Kitchen in partnership with the Boston Center for the Arts.
My new project will forge a space to celebrate life, death, family, and memories from my childhood living room. This project will include footage of celebrations in weddings, communions, birthdays, holidays, and more from VHS home tapes that will be projected alongside paintings of social gatherings, paired with the original images framed on the walls. Selected objects will act as instruments for audience members to recall memories, honor and connect with our ancestors, and heal old wounds of the loss of loved ones.
Installation dates 2024/2025. Death Anniversary will take place on May 10, 2024.