For the first time in Latin America, Quito was the host of the light festival which took place during the UN’s Habitat III conference. It gathered people around the historic city center to watch the lightshow in seven historical buildings: The Plaza Hermano Miguel, Plaza del Teatro, Plaza Santo Domingo, Capilla Museo de la Ciudad, Iglesia de La Compañía, Plaza La Merced and Centro Cultural Metropolitano.
The staging of Quito Light Festival was conducted by Ecuadorian and French artists who are famous for the staging of the “Fête des Lumières” in Lyon. These artists used the techniques of creative lightening, video-mapping and light art to create the wonderful effects visible in these seven buildings.
Every building had its own characteristics and told a different story, including one making tribute to the victims of the Ecuador earthquake on April 16th 2016. However of these seven buildings my favorite 3 were the following:
Santo Domingo Square
The project name was “Traveling around 3 worlds” from the artist Laurent Langlois and with the collaboration of the Ecuadorian artist Belén Mena. It was an spectacular mapping in which the building came alive once spectral indigenous figures emerged from the baroque walls of the church, angels ascended in the bell towers soon making a way for dancing floral patterns and other pre-columbian and contemporary designs.
La Merced Square
“Laniakea” from the Hawaiian language means “Huge celestial horizon” or “Immeasurable Paradise” and was the name given by Jerôme Donna y Simon Milleret-Godet to this project for the Quito Light Festival 2016. This project leads the viewer into a cosmic experience in which the history of the universe is projected on the walls of the “Merced” church. In a complex visual choreography, hundreds of led lamps and images of galaxies, stars and planets, dance to the rhythm of music in order to bring the cosmos into this church.
La Compania Church
Well, even if it was an static image, this project was my favorite. The artist Patrice Warrener in the project “Chromolithe” completely transformed the facade of this church into a wonderful piece of art. The Church walls became a canvas for bright red, green, blue, yellow and pink colors. Soon the facade became into something completely beautiful and caught the attention of everyone who passed by and became mesmerized by the beauty of the show.
Other interesting projects included:
Tribute to the Earthquake Victims by Pablo Rosero
The Tribute took place in the Hermano Miguel (San Blas) square and invited people to remember those who were victims of the earthquake which took place on April 16th 2016 in the Ecuadorian coast.This piece uses a metaphor in which human beings are represented in the afterlife as palpitations of light. It seeks to generate a spiritual and reflective environment to catapult people into a moment of introspection through the realization of the things that were and now are not.
Capilla Museo de la Ciudad
The “Palimpsesto” project by Fidel Eljuri tributes Ecuadorian history by simulating the movement of the sun during the summer solstice because the solstice illuminates year after year the altars and temples of Quito’s Historical Center churches, where Ecuadorian ancestors worshiped their gods: the huacas. The project-based lasers and copper structure simulates the movement of the sun.