A 33-meter open red vulva was dug in the lands of the Usina de Arte, a gallery located in the South Forest of Pernambuco. According to the artist who conceived the work, Juliana Notari, this intervention is both a “vulva” and a “wound”. At the same time that it projects the bodily power of women, it evokes violence and domination. It is a shock feminist aesthetic.
In a context like Brazil’s – today marked by toxic masculinity, misogyny and polarization – as soon as it gained public visibility in January 2021, ‘Diva’ had wide public reverberation in the art world and beyond. It received a positive reception, but also very critical analyzes, in addition to being the subject of virulent attacks. The vulva-wound was a trending topic on Twitter Brazil and had repercussions in the international media.
There is no space here to examine in-depth the legitimate debates and criticisms that the vulva-wound provoked, including with regard to the racial dimensions that, at the same time, the work concealed and revealed. We chose to include Notari’s geological and provocative intervention in the annual balance of sexual policies in pandemic times to remember that, even in the dark political and sanitary conditions in which Brazil is submerged, feminist freedom, creativity and contestation, as well as the debates that ensue are not silenced.
There’s a Massive New Vulva Sculpture in Brazil – Paper Mag