Stretching over 590 acres, the Panteón de Dolores is Mexico’s largest cemetery, and contains over 700,000 tombs, gravestones, and sculptures. With all of those slabs of granite and marble around, the Mexico City animation collective Llama Rada got to thinking: “What if we use the tombstones of the cemetery as screens to project a vibrant, living cartoon?”
Using projectors to beam specially designed animations onto the headstones, the result of Llama Rada’s project is like what would happen if Oingo Boingo visited a Toontown graveyard on the Day of the Dead. When the witching hour comes to Panteón Dolores, the tombstones of the cemetery come to life as an array of colorful goblins come out to party the night away.
Directed by Alejandro Garcia Cabbalero and sponsored by Ciudad Intervenida, the Panteón de Dolores project was one of six commissioned pieces that brought the work of animators into various public spaces throughout the city. Llama Rada certainly succeeds at that, reimagining what is usually seen as a landscape of death as a bright and colorful celebration of contemporary Mexican life.