How do we deal with loss in Antwerp? The Altar of Antwerp is an interactive installation that reflects on it every year. It is inspired by the relationship between life and death in pre-Columbian cultures in South America and is set up in the MAS in honour of Día de Muertossince 2012. Visitors to the Altar of Antwerp can commemorate people there. We are always connected to all of our memories. We can connect ourselves to our past.
Just like life itself, the Altar takes many forms and is different every year; a colourful organism that is supplemented with a new layer of meaning by a different artist every year. Setting up the Altar in a museum is a challenge, because how do you preserve something that cannot be preserved?
In contrast to the Altar of Antwerp, since 2013, a traditional Mexican altar has been erected by an organisation appointed by the Mexican Embassy. Since 2017, the Altar of Antwerp has been part of the collection of the MAS. It has also been included as an ‘ambassador’ in the register of good practices for intangible heritage in Flanders.