Please do not punish us we are only doing what others have done before us

The otherwise excellent MALBA (Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires) is currently showing works of the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica in a solo exhibition. One of the elements present in all 5 works on display are photographic representations of cocaine (or to be precise lines of coke laid out on top of photographs of jimi hendrix, jesus, marilyn monroe and the like…).

However it seems like the curators of the show had the idea that they were sending out a bit of a mixed message here (or that there is a stupid law that does not allow minors to see works of art that depict drug use) and decided to put up a warning message at the entrance of that particular section of the museum:

warning message

[now i can’t translate this as i do not speak spanish but my understanding is that this means something like this: ‘Entrance prohibited for anyone under 18 years of age. This exhibition includes photographs depicting the use of drugs. The consumption of these drugs results in irreversible health damage. These works have been shown in various of the worlds most renowned museums in cities like New York, Barcelona, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro among others’]

I really like the part where they are hiding behind the fact that other museums have shown these works. Makes me somehow doubt that the MALBA will ever show a controversial exhibition for the first time (although Alan assures me that they have a really fine film screening programme & if anyone really wanted to stop people from taking cocaine in Argentina the should rather focus on the price (to low) and the quality (to good) of said agricultural produce).

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