Giant 108-Foot Vagina Art Slammed by Brazil's Far-right for Being 'Obscene' and 'Transphobic'
108-foot Vagina art 'Diva' triggers controversy in Brazil.
A giant 33-metre installation of a vagina in Brazil became the centre of a clash between President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right supporters and left-wing art admirers. The 108-foot concrete handmade sculpture, entitled Diva, was unveiled by the notable artist Juliana Notari on Saturday.
The sculpture, which took 11 months to build installed to provoke a debate on ‘problemisation of gender’ has now left the fans and right-wing supporters divided. The bright red sculpture has been installed at a rural art park which was a former sugar mill in Pernambuco, considered as Brazil’s most culturally vibrant states. The artist Notari in a Facebook post stated that the vulva is supposed to ‘question the relationship between nature and culture in our phallocentric and anthropocentric western society.’
The Facebook post shared on December 31 has gone viral with more than 25,000 comments and 12,000 shares. “Nowadays these issues have become increasingly urgent,” she writes, which people believe is a dig at the increasingly intolerant climate in Bolsonaro’s Brazil.
However, the artist’s Facebook page was flooded with comments from Bolsonaro’s supporters and art critics who slammed the artwork and called it ‘obscene’ and ‘transphobic.’ The viral post caused anger among Bolsonaro’s supporters who slammed the ‘left.’
“The left is obsessing over poop or genitilia again,” commented a user on the Facebook post. Other users called the artwork ‘shit’ and wrote that it is in ‘bad taste.’
Some users took to Twitter to express their anger and feelings over the ‘hypocrisy’ of installation. A user pointed out that ‘a white woman named Juliana Notari’ took help from a ‘a bunch of Black men’ to build a vagina on a hill. The user called it ‘transphobic’ and questioned, “what is it with feminists equating on their body parts with their womanhood.” She called the artwork as ‘fucking creepy.’
Passei a tarde pensando sobre essa obra da Juliana Notari. Uma escultura de vulva que ela descreve como um ato de resistência artística e problematização de gênero, mas que pra ser criada usou praticamente só mão de obra de homens negrosuma sátira do feminismo branco? pic.twitter.com/V0zcq6sUpf— jess (@ladygrisa) January 1, 2021
Another Twitter user by name Gender studies for Men called Notari ‘Karen’ for using Black men to’ dig trenches in the heat on subsistence wages’ to ‘create a giant vagina art sculpture.’ She later slammed the incident and called it ‘such stunning lack of self-awareness.’
Such stunning lack of self awareness ... this Karen in Brazil got black men to dig trenches in the heat on subsistence wages to create a giant vagina art sculpture. pic.twitter.com/7eC0yRekFD— Gender Studies for Men (@JohnDavisJDLLM) January 2, 2021
Kleber Mendonca Filho, a film director from Pernambuco, complimented Notari for replying to such a conservative moment in Brazilian history with a huge vagina. He took to Twitter and wrote that the reactions to her work are a mirror of society) and called it a ‘success.’
Viva Juliana Notari, botar homens pra fazer um bucetão de 30 metros na Zona da Mata pernambucana, em plenos anos Bolsonaro. As reações à obra são espelho, um sucesso. https://t.co/7Zou85kBtD— Kleber Mendonça Filho (@kmendoncafilho) January 3, 2021
Trans cartoonist Laerte Caoutinho also spoke in support of Notari and tweeted that there’s a lot to think about in the artwork.
Many people came out in support of the installation and the artist. A user wrote that it was the ‘best public art of 2021 so far’ and another complimented that work saying that ‘it will never be understood by the patriarchs, the phalocrats and the neoliberal and facho-Christian mediocrities like Bolsonaro and his fauna.’
Several others defended the freedom of the artist.
I love this. The far-right in Brazil offended by a vagina. Where the hell do they think they travelled from to enter this world...? 😂😂😂It has made my day. Completely made my day! 😂 https://t.co/DWp2H7zzKg pic.twitter.com/OUedifquCL— FishGirls23 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 #3.5% (@FishGirls23) January 4, 2021
Another supporter shared that she loved it and said that they ‘need more such works that elevate feminism.’
Bolsonaro has been known to be critical of culture, artists, especially who oppose and speak against the government. Ever since he has taken office in 2019, he has maligned them as decadent spongers who milk public funds to peddle communist propaganda.