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Portuguese art for Rio carnival in 2016

Joana Vasconcelos is in talks with one of the samba schools

The Rio carnival is already the most ­exuberant parade on the planet, but in 2016, it could be even more colourful than usual. The Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, whose work includes Contamination, 2008-10, a giant, hand-knitted cephalopod (right, cascading down the staircase of the Palazzo Grassi in Venice), is in talks with one of the samba schools that ­participate in the Brazilian festival every year. If all goes to plan, Vasconcelos will create a float for the carnival complete with dancers in elaborate costumes, choreography and music written specially for the event. “The Rio carnival is originally a Portuguese tradition from Lisbon, so it’s something that is really part of our culture,” Vasconcelos says, adding that she has long been interested in “exploring Portuguese identity, so this [project] would really make sense for me”. Meanwhile, an exhibition of the artist’s work is due to open at the Banco de Brasil’s cultural space in Belo Horizonte next January, before travelling to Rio and São Paulo.

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