Fallas 2023 is approaching fast. Just a few days ago we went to the first fireworks, which were held in honor of the Fallera Major Infantil, and then another to for the opening ceremony of the Ninot exhibition. We knew that we’d be soon returning to this exhibit, as we do every year, to build some first impressions of the artistic direction and common themes we’re likely to see during this year’s Fallas.
We chose a Friday evening for our visit, aware that it would be very crowded. It was, but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying the exhibit — there are literally hundreds and hundreds of ninots to admire, so even a large crowd spreads out pretty well. We arrived 90 minutes before closing time, and had to hurry a little to get through all of the rows of figures.
For this exhibit, each Casal (or Fallas commission) chooses to display a single Ninot, which will then be incorporated into their much bigger Fallas figure on the streets. This allows visitors to get a preview of the various monuments that will be erected on the 15th, during the Plantà. Occasionally, we’d see a particularly striking or bizarre ninot, and take note of its commission (Plaza Arbol looks to be weirdly wonderful this year!)
When you first step inside the Science Museum, where the exhibition is hosted, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. First, there’s the sheer quantity. You’re supposed to look at all these figures?? Second, there’s the sense of loss beginning to creep in. By March 19th, (almost) all of these mini-artworks will reduced to ashes… and they represent only a small fraction of the full number which will be set ablaze! It’s both impressive and sad.
As mentioned, these figures provide a glimpse of each large Fallas figures themes. And yes, we noticed a lot of figures in the shape of Vladimir Putin. It’s not overly surprising that his war in the Ukraine was a popular topic. We also noticed that, after having seen it for the first time last year, the porcelain (or Lladro) effect has gained in popularity in the Fallas workshops at the Cuitat Fallera.
Have you been to a Ninot Exhibition before? And what is your favorite figure that you see in this post? Are you getting excited for Fallas 2023?