Image: Installation view of the Carnaval exhibition. Photo by Anthony Scoggins.

On View

May 21 - Sep 17, 2006

Curated By

Barbara Mauldin

The exhibition was funded in part by The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and The County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program.

A major exhibition exploring carnival celebrations in Europe and the Americas at the Museum in Balboa Park was installed in the Pardee Grand Gallery, the Warren Theater Gallery and the Cornell Rotunda Gallery. Organized by the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico and UCLA's Fowler Museum, the exhibition included colorful, exuberant celebrations from Laza, Spain, Venice, Italy, Basel, Switzerland, Tlaxcala, Mexico, Oruro, Bolivia, Recife and Olinda, Brazil, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and New Orleans, Louisiana. Each location was represented by mannequins dressed in its carnival costumes set against a photographic backdrop showing its celebration. Videos of each celebration accompanied the exhibition.

In Laza, Spain, carnival is Entroido. Medieval customs survive with the plays performed with music and dance and revelers' throwing buckets of ashes, flour and water at one another.

Carnival returned to Venice in the 1980s. Costumes and gondola parades are its hallmarks.

Fasnacht is observed the week after the beginning of Lent in Protestant Basel, Switzerland with fife and drum troupes and costumes designed around themes of social criticism.

Revelers in Tlaxcala, Mexico's Carnaval go from house to house performing quadrilles and poking fun at the country's European colonizers.

Offerings are offered to the Andean gods and devotions are made to the Virgin Mary in Oruro, Bolivia.

Recife and Olinda, Brazil continue to celebrate carnival in the European manner. Costumes and choreography can also be inspired by African, Brazilian, and Indian myth.

Mas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago is a chance for everyone to dance through the town.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a series of public parades and private balls put on by groups called krewes. New Orleans' minority community's Indians present an alternative celebration wearing elaborate costumes.

ìCARNAVAL! was accompanied by a book of the same name edited by Barbara Mauldin.