Holy Guacamole! A Group of ‘Taco-Loving Creatives’ Is Building a Pop-Up Museum Devoted to the Mexican Snack at SXSW

The pop-up promises to "deliver true Instagrammable goals."

Avocados. Courtesy of Tacotopia.
Avocados. Courtesy of Tacotopia.

The pop-up museum trend shows no sign of dying out as the latest Instagram trap is set to touch down in Austin, Texas, just in time for the SXSW film, music, and media festival, which runs from March 8 to 16. It’s called Tacotopia, and it’s already threatening to go on a six-city tour to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

“The exhibit is part of a larger movement encompassing interactive and experiential art,” the press release helpfully points out for anyone who’s been hiding under a rock since Refinery29’s 29 Rooms and the Museum of Ice Cream ushered in this strange new age of ball pits and thematic odes to avocados, dreams, feminism, pizza, and rosé.

But this particular iteration doesn’t even pretend it’s there for anything more than to “deliver true Instagrammable goals” via larger-than-life immersive installations, according to its website. It will include such attractions as a foam pico de gallo ball pit, a “Señorita Needs a Margarita” lime swing, and a staircase leading to “Churro Heaven.”

It all feels vaguely sacrilegious: the jumping off point for the whole affair is a character dubbed the Goddess of Tacos, a cross between the Zapotec Goddess of Life and Ushnishavijaya, the Buddha Goddess of a Long Life. Tacotopia plans to work with local artists in all six cities to create unique installations for each stop on the tour.

Goddess of Tacos. Courtesy of Tacotopia.

Goddess of Tacos. Courtesy of Tacotopia.

Strangely, not all of the 20 interactive rooms will be on theme. “For all the non-taco lovers out there,” the press release promises, “there are plenty of swoon worthy photo opportunities throughout the exhibit that aren’t tacotastic.”

But where the museum may be lacking in total taco domination, the museum website more than makes up for it. Consider the following puns: “Give ’em something to taco ’bout and get your tickets;” “Quesadilla there;” If you don’t like tacos we’re probably nacho type.”

A taco. Courtesy of Tacotopia.

A taco. Courtesy of Tacotopia.

It’s all the brainchild of Jose Ortez, creative director of New York’s West 54 Productions, which apparently considers weekly Taco Tuesday meetings “sacrosanct.” A taco-inspired pop-up is just the “natural evolution” of this beloved ritual, Ortez said in a press release. “We’re a Taco loving bunch of creatives!”

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children ages 4 to 12, and free for kids three and under. Visits are timed, lasting approximately an hour. The pop-up isn’t officially affiliated with SXSW, so no need to have a pass for the festival. After all, as the website insists, “taco love is universal.”

Tacotopia will be on view on South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, March 1-31, 2019. It will run for 12 weeks in Los Angeles, beginning in May 2019, with engagements in New York during Fashion WeekMiami during Art Basel Miami BeachChicago, and Scottsdale, Arizona, to follow. 


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