The Battle of Carnival 

2015

Mixed Media on Canvas,

150 x 250 cm

The Battle of Carnival 

In the Middle Ages, a feast was held to provide all the members of a society with an outlet for their inner frustrations in order to contain potential social riots and revolts. The event rendered a temporary abandonment of all morals and class hierarchies. Everyone dressed in outlandish costumes, spoke and behaved according to their whims, and even held a mock election to choose the Pope or the king of the mad.

Following the outbreak of the plague and its casualties which caused a decrease in workforce, the expectations of laymen and workers heightened. This brought about many riots leading to peasant wars and the lords’ loss of power. In other words, people realized that instead of having their demands restrained and suppressed, they could probably attain them as their rightful claims.

Naturally, such a condition becomes gradually more complex to the extent that the distinction between festive rituals and fights for demands no longer exists. One moment our needs and desires drives us to put up a struggle and in another moment we decide to shy away from those protests lest we become their very targets. Then we resort to false strategies of diversion such as a celebration of breaking all moral principles and imperatives, even if only provisionally.

Eventually, battles or feasts come to represent moral vices and virtues as well as the tension between the two. In a particular context such as the old and misguided medieval traditions, an animal costume might evoke the seven virtues or the seven deadly sins.