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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Artists blend souls, border deaths”

    Tucson’s annual All Souls Procession is much more than the Halloween-related spectacle some unwitting outsiders might imagine it to be. “”La Celebración y el Sufrimiento,”” the collaborative exhibition currently on display at the Union Gallery, provides a personal insight into this traditional event. The works of photography, sculpture, collage and artifact created and collected for the All Souls Procession capture the pride and pain behind the ceremonies.

    The All Souls Procession draws contributors and participants from all walks of life. “”La Celebración y el Sufrimiento”” provides a venue for the Tucson public to become a part of the ceremonies as well.

    “”Give us your offerings,”” reads the placard above one of many small urns placed inconspicuously throughout the exhibition. Dreams and wishes are encouraged, as well as bad habits and the names of lost loved ones.

    The celebratory aspect of the procession is visible in the vibrant photography of revelers on the night of the procession. However, after a few of these festive photos, artist Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli’s work gives the mood a darker turn. A little girl with angel wings stares out at the viewer with somber, makeup-blackened eyes that age her beyond her years. She holds an old photograph of her smiling grandfather, whose soul has since gone beyond.

    More sobering are the piles of belongings strewn in the center of the gallery like a haphazardly-arranged moving sale. The previous owners’ journeys were not spontaneous. These shoes, backpacks and childrens’ letters were discarded in the desert by undocumented immigrants.

    For Sonoran artist Lidia Teran-Cooper, the artifacts represent “”one reality that is very true.”” She said she was brought to tears during her first visit to the exhibition.

    “”I don’t know how many people used these shoes, these clothes, these backpacks,”” Teran-Cooper said. “”The little children, many of them died.””

    Teran-Cooper’s colorful, folkloric collages pay tribute to Jose Guadalupe Posada’s calaveras, which he drew in protest during times of political strife in Mexico. She said his statements of activism are something to be admired and respected. By adapting his detailed images in her own work, she hopes to contribute to Posada’s cause.

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