Carnivalesque Urban Mediation
This project began with research and reading of Michel Bahktin’s writings on the carnivalesque, in which he describes a pseduo-utopia resulting form the laughter and communion of the medieval carnival. In this social space, hierarchies tip sideways, traditional social barriers blur, and the individual is masked and thus freed of inhibitions of identity. Our projects drew social cues from these writings and formal cues from our own fictionalized carnivals.
This Carnival begins in the dead of winter: A snowstorm has transformed the city, veiling it in a thick layer of snow, disrupting all of the city’s flows of movement and activity. Freed from the responsibilities of work and school, masked carnivalites parade the street, shouting, slipping and sliding, basking in the other-worldliness that has replaced the mundane and the every-day. They wrestle in the middle of the unplowed streets, and sled down highway embankments. They reinterpret the city and its forms, and forge a new understanding of the city defined not by its social structures, infrastructure or architecture, but as a dynamic collision between the utopian and real worlds....
Critic: Annette Fierro