Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Livin' La Vida Lucha

Alright knitters, it's time to get those creative juices flowing! I've got a proposition for y'all: Help me to create an exhibition of fantastic fibre-y fury:

Knitted Mexican Wrestling Masks!

My friends at the Embassy Bar here in Toronto have placed a call for artists:


This is a call to artists of multiple disciplines for proposals that address the theme of La Lucha Libre, popular Mexican Wrestling. We highly encourage works from artists that use non-traditional presentations of their artform that go beyond the framed image on a wall. Performance, installation and intervention artists are highly welcomed.

This event will take place at The Embassy bar in Kensington Market, we want your art to be as engaging as possible in this context (a darker night time atmosphere). In addition, we welcome street art that will engage the general area of The Market in conjunction with La Lucha exhibition. Proposals for street intervention must indicate a clear idea of place and medium. We will provide a map of works happening outside of the Embassy.

The selected works will question the popularization of La Lucha Libre having roots as a popular working class entertainment in Mexico that gained international attention and momentum. We are interested in literal, theoretical or conceptual approaches to this theme. We welcome proposals that address different levels of the imagination derived from La Lucha such as:

Elaborate disguises/Flashy costumes; the colourful world of masks.

Spectacular and over-exaggerated locks and moves.

The absurdity and theatrical aspects of this performance.

The conflict between stereotyped archetypes in this fight.
(the eternal confrontation between good and evil).

Your own ideas are also welcomed!

A masked Lucha Libre wrestling party will be held on June 22nd, 2007.

So... after reading this letter, a lightbulb went off. Beyond framed images on a wall? Flashy costumes? How cool would it be to display a collection of hand-knit wrestling masks?

Unfortunately, I just don't have the time or the skill to knit them all myself. I can certainly knit one mask, but I'm picturing an entire installation. Lots of masks from lots of knitters! THEREFORE, I'm proposing to co-ordinate a group collection. The Embassy? They love it!

If you are interested in contributing, here's the run-down:

- Create a knitted wrestling mask of your own design (or your take on one)
- Drop off your mask at the Embassy Bar, or contact me (click on "view my complete profile" on the top right to find a link to my email) to arrange for pickup before June 9th (I know, I know, time is tight!)
- Contributors will not be paid, but if you wish to sell your mask, provide me with your asking price and it will be displayed at the bar.
- The masks will remain property of the artist/knitter
- The masks will be on display at the Embassy Bar until the exhibition is over (length of exhibition to be determined.) at which point the artist/knitter may pick up their work or arrange (with me) to have their work delivered back to them

Still with me? Now put your thinking cap on! The masks don't even need to necessarily be full size, or in any way functional. Have fun with it! Think outside the yarn! This is a great opportunity to use up some stash yarn. (Especially that crazy stuff you never knew what to do with.) If novelty yarn has a purpose, this is it!



If there is an actual Lucha Libre mask pattern out there, I haven't found it yet. Luck for us, there are countless balaclava patterns available. Close enough! A little creative intarsia or embroidery, and voila! Fit for a wrestler. Free balaclava patterns can be found here:

- Antifreeze from Knitty

- Some WWI patterns

- A basic pattern or two or three(no pictures - frustrating!)

- Check out this blogger's hilarious find She claims to no longer has the patterns, but I got it them her before she gave away the magazine. Whee!

- If these aren't doing it for you I have some vintage patterns of my own. I could scan something and email it to you (though some may still be under copyright - not sure about the legalities on that)


- Turn your image into a chart with KnitPro 2.0

- OR, print your own graph paper here
and dust off those coloured pencils!


Have you read this far and you're still totally confused? Not familiar with Mexican Wrestling? Never seen Nacho Libre? Get the scoop:

- Wikipedia
- Lucha Wiki - I can't believe this actually exists!


I'm crossing my fingers and toes I can pull this off. Help me out guys!


fibersnob said...

You have to get Joyce and Maria in on this, not sure if you were around for the whole "EL Santo" craziness that one night...good times.

The Nutritionista said...

Ha! That's great! Keith and I were planning a photo series but June 9th!!! That's like tomorrow.

Maria said...

Yay, El Santo... good times. But I really can't do it. I have no time.