Jodorowsky retrospective cancelled over sexual assault comments

Alejandro Jodorowsky.

East Harlem’s El Museo del Barrio has announced the cancellation of its retrospective of Chilean filmmaker and artist Alejandro Jodorowsky’s work following an investigation into public remarks made by the artist about raping his co-star, Mara Lorenzio, on screen in the making of his film El Topo (1970), Hyperallergic reports. In 2017 Helen O’Hara published a report with The Telegraph in which a passage from Jodorowsky’s El Topo: A Book of the Film (1972) was highlighted: ‘After she had hit me long enough and hard enough to tire her, I said, ‘Now it’s my turn. Roll the cameras.’ And I really … I really … I really raped her. And she screamed. Then [Lorenzio] told me that she had been raped before.’ Jodorowsky would later alter his confession during an interview with Empire magazine in 2007 to say: ‘I didn’t rape Mara, but I penetrated her with her consent.’

El Museo del Barrio had originally organised a programme which included a screening of Jodorowsky’s new film Psychomagic: A Healing Art (2018), El Topo and a tarot reading by the artist. In a statement to Hyperallergic, a spokesperson for the museum said: ‘We were aware of Jodorowsky’s statements from the show’s inception. After ongoing review and assessment of materials, we realized that we could not adequately contextualize his practice and came to the independent decision to cancel the exhibition.’

The museum will instead extend its survey of Liliana Porter’s Other Situations, through March 3.

30 January 2019