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ABECEDARIUM: The Masquerade Ball from A to Z at Pérez Art Museum Miami


The Masquerade Ball from A to Z

by Alexandra Midal


A special event initiated by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States

as part of the French-American program « Oui Design »

in partnership with Perez Art Museum Miami

December 1, 2016, 11am - 4 pm

Perez Art Museum Miami

1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL

Masks and costumes, carnival and transvestism, the 3rd edition of the ABECEDARIUM, an international travelling project by Alexandra Midal, initiated by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, 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? 

About Oui Design
In May 2016, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States launched Oui Design, a multifaceted program to foster creative exchange in design between France and the U.S. By partnering with individuals and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, Oui Design supports and initiates creative collaborations with designers, artisans, curators, inventors, researchers, teachers, students, and manufacturers. It also brings French designers to the U.S. to exhibit their works, and engage with industry professionals and the public. In so doing, the program aims to enhance the economic and creative aspects of the design industry in both countries.

A special event organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States as part of the French-American Program "Oui Design", in partnership with PAMM and the support of FACE Foundation, Institut Français-Paris, French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Florence Gould Foundation, Carisam-Samuel Meisel et Mr. Fausto de la Cruz, and the France Florida Foundation for the Arts.

Due to a limited number of free invitations, please RSVP at:

Detailed program from A to Z

More about Alexandra Midal