Burning of Falla Convento Jerusalén-Matemático Marzal - people lined in a busy city street
Exhibition Talk
Instituto Cervantes Sydney
1 – 11, 5 March, Times vary

Fallas: innovating tradition

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‘Fallas; innovating tradition’ presents a lecture and supporting exhibition illustrating how through a populous and culture-defining festival, Valencians gain access to a platform that facilitate discourse on contemporary society, politics, cultural heritage and its traditions.

Every March Valencians erect hundreds of large and highly elaborate monuments made out of papier-mache, wood and other combustible materials that are burnt on the eve of St Joseph.

In his lecture, Valencian artist Miguel Olmo will chart the development of the festival, and illustrate the role that design plays in providing access points for the populace to build a distinct sense of regional identity and engage in discussion about the artistic, aesthetic and design merit of the monuments and its themes.

With the aim of achieving the coveted first prize, the co-ops and artists that band together to erect the Falla, have propelled the aesthetic evolution of the ninots, the humorous and satirical figures that make up the monuments, into one of the worlds’ greatest manifestations of design and innovation. Carefully balancing tradition with the desire to push the physical and design elements.

Despite millions of tourist flocking to see this spectacle every year, it is an event that is relatively unknown to Australian audiences, the lecture and exhibition will open a portal to audiences to a lesser known aspect of Spain’s culture and offer an insight into the way that the Fallas, literally place design in the doorsteps of the residents and visitors of Valencia.

Image courtesy of Instituto Cervantes Sydney