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City Hall presents the Rio Carnaval exhibition, with images of the first Carnival held in person post-covid-19

The Rio Carnaval exhibition goes on display at the Rio Art Museum – Marcos de Paula/Rio City Hall


Curated by the scenographer, architect and artist Gringo Cardia and the historian and writer Luiz Antônio Simas, Rio City Hall opened, this Tuesday (20/2), the Rio Carnaval exhibition, at the Rio Art Museum (MAR). The exhibition, which is part of the city's events calendar for the G20, occupies two rooms of the museum - the ground floor and the fifth floor -, housing a projection booth, eighty screens, forty measuring 1.50m x 2.00m and others forty measuring 0.70cm by 1.00m, in addition to two others of large proportions. This careful selection was made from vast material, with more than 800 photos and many hours of video images.

– This exhibition manages to portray a lot of this art, of the cultural manifestations that represent the Brazilian Carnival, obviously based on the Rio Carnival. There are beautiful scenes, incredible people coming out of Marquês de Sapucaí or during the parade. It is unmissable, it will stay here at MAR for a while and tour Brazil and the world – said Mayor Eduardo Paes, remembering that the exhibition is part of the G20 calendar of events, the biggest and most important geopolitical opportunity the country has ever had, even more than the Olympic Games and the World Cup.

Photographers Fábio Ghivelder, João Farkas, Igor Souto and Leonardo Ramadinha signed the photos side by side with artist Vik Muniz. The idea came from a bilingual Art Book (Portuguese-English) designed by the municipal secretary of Tourism, Daniela Maia.

– The idea came up at the end of 2021. We didn't have Carnival that year, so I started designing the one for 2022. I saw the books and images we had of Carnival. And most of them had more journalistic connotations and less art. And the art of Carnival needs to be immortalized, people need to see the beauty that is Carnival and the beauty of the photographers' look at the costumes, the culture and the biggest popular party in the world – said Daniela Maia.

Thus, Carnival gains its first major exposure, in a photographic and video trip with images taken during the 2022 Special Group samba school parade, in Marquês de Sapucaí. It was the first Carnival held in person post-covid-19, on an alternative date, April 2022, which heightened its emotional charge.

– This exhibition has a very symbolic value for the city of Rio. We called photographers with a different perspective to show the culture and this wonderful energy of our people. In particular, the 2022 Carnival was the return after Covid. The schools came with a lot of force and brought the essence of Carnival. We want to show the vibrancy of the people of Rio, who reflect the history of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. And it shows why our people enchant the world so much – declared Gringo Cardia.

The team of photographers clicked behind the scenes on the avenue, in a space transformed into a photographic studio set up during the dispersion of the parades. These are photos of school members in the heat of emotion at Marquês de Sapucaí. Adrenaline, joy, hope, determination – all beating within a beating heart of the passistas, flag bearers and Bahians handpicked by the book's curators.

– We were coming out of the pandemic and there was a reconstruction of Carnival. These images are fundamental because they record the components as soon as the parade ends. So, we have a very interesting mosaic about what the samba school parade is and how it is part of the city's Carnival. I was invited to participate and wrote the text thinking about Carnival and the importance of samba schools. This exhibition shows that Carnival is the great builder of collective meaning in life in our city – said Luiz Antônio Simas.

The publication honors professionals who do not appear in the media, such as blacksmiths, embroiderers, lighting designers, props and seamstresses, as it is possible to identify the mastery of their skills in the smallest details contained in the photos. The result is an eternal record of the best of Rio's Carnival, moving away from journalistic photos or traditional coverage and bringing the tears, smiles, sweat and magic that make up the greatest show on earth.

– I’ve been watching the parades at Sapucaí for over 20 years, it’s one of the things I most enjoy doing in my life. And having had the opportunity to have direct contact with all the people who left Apoteosis was something I had already thought about. I received an invitation to write the book that resulted in this exhibition. It was a wonderful experience, a different Carnival for me. I saw what Carnival meant to each person who passed through that route – declared Vik Muniz.

After the exhibition at MAR, the exhibition should move on to other locations. It is in the process of validating its presentation in some Brazilian embassies around the world, through the Guimarães Rosa Institute, the cultural arm of Itamaraty. All aimed at attracting more tourists to the Marvelous City.

Rio Art Museum

MAR is a museum owned by the City of Rio and its design is the result of a partnership between the Municipal Department of Culture and the Roberto Marinho Foundation. In January 2021, the Rio Art Museum began to be managed by the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI).

– The Rio Art Museum, for OEI, represents a space to strengthen access to culture, education and plurality closely related to the territory in which it is located. In addition to contributing to training in the arts and education, having Rio de Janeiro, with its history and expressions, as the raw material for our work – commented the director and head of the OEI representation in Brazil, Leonardo Barchini.



Rio Carnival Exhibition
Regular visitation: from February 21st to May 19th – ground and 5th floor
Rio Art Museum: Praça Mauá, number 5, Centro
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 11am to 6pm (entrance until 5pm)
The Rio Carnaval exhibition has free entry
More information at

Credits: Rio City Hall

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