Art Exhibition: Christopher Rivera’s “Death of Dance”

Christopher Rivera’s “Death of Dance”—a reinterpretation of Hans Holbein’s 1538 masterpiece of the macabre, Dance of Death, is on view at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art (MAPR) until March 6, 2011. The installation, which opened on January 21, uses a combination of digital images, video, and spoken word to offer a contemporary framework from which to explore death in our globalized world.

Curator Juan Carlos López Quintero describes:

Our current relationship with death lacks the elaborate symbolic resources of societies in the past. While today, the theological elaborations of religions and various popular beliefs that constituted the myths and legends of the past may seem illogical to us, both offered a transcendental meaning to our lives. In what has been defined as the “society of spectacle,” religions flourish, forming part of a “hyperreal show.” However, aren’t these responsible for the symbolic exchange with death: in our globalized and mediated world, don’t the film, television, and music industries shape our relationship with the unknown? 

The installation “Death of Dance”— Christopher Rivera Rivera’s free interpretation of the dance of death, the famous engravings by Hans Holbein, published in 1538—discusses, in contemporary code, the inescapable theme of death, by using the media arts imaginary.  It is an operation that seeks to evaluate and re-evaluate the signs and meanings of our deepest fears. 

For reviews (in Spanish), see and

To listen to the artist speak about this exhibit, see

Image: A detail of one of Holbein’s engravings from

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