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Abecedarium: The Masquerade Ball from A to Z

Masks and costumes, carnival and transvestism, the 3rd edition of the Abecedarium, an international travelling project by Alexandra Midal, will take place on December 1st at the Perez Art Museum (Miami) from 11am to 4pm.

After the Musée des Arts décoratifs (Paris), and MoMA (New York), the Miami edition of the Abecedarium will explore twenty-six topics related to the Masquerade Ball from A to Z: from its fashion accessories to its political agenda, from paganism to secret society. Twenty-six iconic issues from the universe of masquerades, spanning the early 18th century to the present, will be discussed by a dynamic roster of doers and thinkers such as designers, artists, curators and scholars, who will explore these topics through each letter of the alphabet in a five to seven minutes vignette.

The Masquerade Ball has traditionally been a cultural product rooted in elegance and luxury. This Abecedarium will look beyond the traditional bounds of its canonic history. It is not by coincidence that the Masquerade Ball has often taken place over several days and nights. Through lust and decadence, it proves to be a subversive act. Indeed, it questions the outcast. It reverses the order of society and its numerous rules, as it is open to a libertarian and permissive temporary society where classes, color and gender can be diversely combined, yet this dis-order only lasts for a determined time lapse, before reverting to the normative rules of society.

The Masquerade Ball is also experienced as an element of a complex network of practices. It can represent an ideal synthesis of the arts through music, costumes and rhythm, often articulated and linked with Caribbean tradition. Finally, the Masquerade Ball is an expanded formulation of a political stance: what needs to be hidden, how and why?

Due to a limited number of free invitations, please RSVP at kimberley.gaultier@diplomatie.gouv.fr.