Let’s talk about Dia De Los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Yes, folks. It’s coming up.
The thousands and thousands of celebrants who manage wind into Disneyland-style lines and then crush themselves en mass into the well-pruned grounds every year on November 1st for these festivities put themselves through such trials of discomfort–so much like agony of life itself–to honor the dead, and frankly as well for the social aspect. Delicious street food. Enchanting music. And most especially, art.
The average Dia De Los Muertos visitor endures the tribulations for, among other things, the altares–meticulously put together, and in many cases, year-long artistic efforts of individuals, families, communities and art collectives. One of the major art collectives working on altares for Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Dia De Los Muertos is Las Sirenas Muertas. Every year they create interactive altares that allow participants to bring photos of their own departed to the party, and then experience the hands-on, game-themed altar in a unique way. Previously, altares by Las Sirenas Muertas have followed the themes of Loteria or Snakes and Ladders. This year, the theme is “Tarot of the Dead.” Here’s a photo of a couple of the artists putting their hearts and souls into the art. These monuments may only stand one day in the cemetery, but they are truly labors of love.
Las Sirenas Muertas excel at what would seem to be the impossible. They give each passer-by a moving experience while touching individuals playfully. They direct interactions in such a way that that even though all this art and performance takes place within sea of humanity where every body around you is trying to somewhat politely claw their way to the next altar, it feels as if this moment was created personally just for you and your lost loved one.
Las Sirenas Muertas have made it possible to get the best of the Dia De Los Muertos experience by allowing the living to visit the collective’s preview at Gallerita Buena Suerte (Good Luck Gallery) in Chinatown on Chung King Road. “Tarot of the Dead” takes place one night only on Saturday, October 25, the same night as a bunch of other interesting openings in the gallery-centric alley, so you can plan an evening around seeing great art in the area once you find that relatively easy street parking.