An enormous bright-red sculpture of a vagina in Brazil appears to be doing exactly what it was designed to do – spark gender issues debate.
Created by Juliana Notari, the 33-meter vulva, titled “Diva,” is strategically located on a mountain in northeast Brazil to stimulate dialogue on gender issues, particularly poignant under the conservative government of President Jair Bolsonaro.
With the help of 20 volunteers, Notari excavated a rural sugarcane field in Pernambuco state to make a crevice which she says also resembles “a wound.”
“In ‘Diva’ I use art to engage with questions that refer to gender issues from a female perspective,” Notari said in Facebook post.
The six-meter deep, cement-lined excavation took nearly 11 months to complete, but touches on issues “that are becoming more and more urgent,” Notari said.
Brazil is undergoing a wave of ultra-conservatism which swept Bolsonaro to power in 2019 and has created polarized discussion on gender issues, including on hot button topics such as abortion.
Since 2003, Notari has been “working with the female anatomy and seeks to provoke discussions around sexual taboos imposed on women.
The work has come under ridicule and garnered criticism, like this comment on social media “if it was 15 minutes of fame she wanted, she got it.”
Other commentators applauded the artist’s ability to create space for reflection.