By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Saturday, August 18th, the much-anticipated, previously vetoed ‘Queermuseu: Cartografias da Diferença na Arte Brasileira’ (Queermuseum: Cartographies of Difference in Brazilian Art) exhibition will finally arrive in Rio, at Parque Lage’s ‘Escola de Artes Visuais’ (School of Visual Arts – or EAV).

The much anticipated arrival of the exhibition in Rio will feature 223 works by 85 nationally and internationally renowned artists, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
The much anticipated arrival of the exhibition in Rio will feature 223 works by 85 nationally and internationally renowned artists, Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil.

The opening will also feature a full day of events and attractions to celebrate the success of the largest crowdfunding campaign in Brazilian history.

This is set to be the opening of one of the most controversial exhibitions in recent Brazilian history. And to celebrate its long-delayed arrival, Parque Lage’s EAV is staging a day filled with music and event. At 11AM, ‘Baque Mulher’ (Hit Woman) an all female drum and dance group from Recife in North-East Brazil will begin proceedings with a performance. Then at 11:45 AM the exhibition will be officially opened.

At 1PM DJ Tatah Toscano will be playing a set for the crowd, followed by a poetry slam at 4PM courtesy of Sarau Cuíer and feauturing Letícia Brito from Slam das Minas, who recently performed at the one year anniversary of ‘Samba Que Elas Querem’ (Samba that they, the women, like) an all-female samba ‘roda’ (circle).

At 6PM, the crowd will be treated to a performance by guitarist and singer Laura Finocchiaro, with new-wave duo from Fortaleza, Verónica Decide Morrer, following her set at 7PM. Carioca rapper Jeza da Pedra is on at 7:30PM and then to finish the day the crowd will be treated to a back-to-back performance from Mariwô and Galo Preto at 8PM.

Following this opening on Saturday will be twelve debates taking place from Sunday, August 19th, to Friday, September 14th. The debates are curated by Ulisses Carrilho and will address such topics as ‘Art and Censorship,’ ‘Fake News and Freedom of Expression’ and ‘Rights and Desires.’

The curatorship of Gaudêncio Fidelis brought together works from public and private collections that cover a historic arch from the middle of the 20th century until today, forming a significant and diverse body of work. The Queermuseu is the first curatorial platform with an exclusively queer approach to be realized in Brazil and the first example of such a large-scale exhibition in Latin America.

The reopening in Rio was made possible through the country’s most successful crowdfunding campaign, which was launched on January 31st and coordinated by Escola de Artes Visuais director Fabio Szwarcwald. The campaign featured historical initiatives that fueled the movement, including a Caetano Veloso concert against censorship, and ended up raising over R$1 million.

The original incarnation of the exhibition, in Porto Allegre, was heavily protested against and abruptly cancelled; its proposed transfer to Rio’s ‘Museu de Arte’ (Museum of Art) was blocked by the city’s conservative mayor Marcelo Crivella on ‘moral grounds,’ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News,
The original incarnation of the exhibition, in Porto Alegre, was heavily protested against and abruptly cancelled, and its proposed transfer to Rio’s ‘Museu de Arte’ (Museum of Art) was previously blocked by the city’s conservative mayor Marcelo Crivella on ‘moral grounds,’ photo courtesy of Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil.

Fernando Salerno, a professor of Portuguese, comments, “I’m very interested in going, to tell the truth. I think it’s important that it’s happening in a city like Rio, that has an evangelical pastor as a mayor. It’s a chance to confront the extreme conservatism that has been growing in the last couple of years.”

Asked about the claims that the exhibition might corrupt children, he responds, “If you think you might be shocked, don’t go! If you’re scared about your children encountering nudity, don’t take them! It’s really very simple.”

Those who remember the 2015 Rio Gay Film Festival will be in for a treat, or anyone who attended the birthday of ‘Samba Que Elas Querem’ should enjoy the feminist-infused musical contributions.

What: Queermuseu: Cartografias da Diferença na Arte Brasileira
When: Saturday, August 18th to Sunday, September 16th; Monday-Friday, 12PM-8PM; Saturday and Sunday, 10AM-5PM
Where: Parque Lage – Rua Jardim Botânico, 414 – Jardim Botânico – Tel: (21) 3257-1800
Entrance: FREE!

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