Exhibition at Casa França-Brasil in Rio de Janeiro closed down

És Uma Maluca, The Voice of the Drain is the Voice of God, 2018

An exhibition at the Casa França-Brasil in Rio de Janeiro has been closed early by city authorities. Literatura exposta was supposed to finish its run with a performance event on Sunday, however a closure notice issued by the city's secretary of culture Ruan Lira claimed the organisers were in breach of contract as they had not run the contents of the event past the municipality. 

The event was to include a performance by collective És Uma Maluca which feature two naked women reading a script that criticises the use of torture during the Brazilian military dictatorship, which ran from 1964 to 1985. The group's work in the show had been censored previously. The Voice of the Drain is the Voice of God, which featured a drain opening, covered in plastic cockroaches, from which a sound recording of speeches by Jair Bolsonaro, the new far-right Brazilian president, was removed by the institution's director on advice. In response to the censorship of their work, the artist’s went ahead with the performance outside Casa França-Brasil on Monday evening.

In an Instagram post the exhibition's curator, Alvaro Figueiredo, claimed the intervention came on the request of Wilson Witzel, the recently inaugurated governor of Rio, a close ally of the president. In the run up to the elections Witzel was photographed destroying a memorial plaque to slain councilwoman Marielle Franco.

Immediately after starting his four year term in office on new year's day, Bolsonaro followed through on his election promise to fold the country's ministry of culture.

14 January 2019