The Buenos Aires museum manager resigned this Thursday after an avalanche of criticism that began on social networks and ended within the city government. On Saturday afternoon, an act in a hundred-year-old palace in the Argentine capital caused the outrage of hundreds of users of social networks due to the sexual content of a fragment of the opera accompanied by dancers in underwear. After almost a week of criticism, the Ministry of Culture of Buenos Aires announced that Victoria Otero, who was in charge of programming events in the city’s museums, has left her post, and that the Government does not endorse or promote “this show class.” “Had I had the slightest indication, this ‘performance’ would not have been scheduled in a space open to the public, nor at that evening time,” says her statement.
Ópera Periférica, a group that in its latest project mixes classical music with punk and drag staging, jumped from the niche to all the country’s newspapers after the event. With scholarships from the National Endowment for the Arts and with recognition of Social Interest by the Legislature of the city of Buenos Aires, the group founded in 2014 had been recognized years before for bringing Mozart or Pergolesi opera to subway stations, parks, skating or the city slums. “Furious Baroque”, the project that the city’s Ministry of Culture had endorsed this year, had a more political profile.
In the minute that it went viral on social networks, two dancers in their underwear shake in the gardens of the Fernández Blanco museum, a hundred-year-old mansion in the center of the city, while another artist sings: “What does poverty matter when you have the very hard dick? What does poverty matter when you have a hungry tail? Does matters! When you go out looking crazy in the streets, in the corners, for that bit of furious love that stuns you and makes you forget about poverty for a while.
“We think that other voices and other bodies that are made invisible can think and do opera; We are not interested in thinking about an inbred opera, but about an opera that can have an impact on the contemporary symbolic order”, Pablo Foldadori, director of the group, assured the agency telam.
The criticism of precariousness and hypersexualization seemed to have penetrated the dozens of people who watched it, but it outraged Twitter users. “We repudiate what happened at the Fernández Blanco Museum. We believe that explicit content is neither suitable nor appropriate, nor does it promote culture for the entire public”, Cynthia Hotton, adviser on social affairs for the city government and one of the most conservative advisers to the government of the capital, ended up writing on her networks. . Almost 10 hours after that first message, Hotton also reported the resignation of her co-worker: “In response to the general complaint, Victoria Otero, manager of City Museums and head of this programming that outraged us all, resigned today. ”.
In its statement, the Ministry of Culture defended that it had coordinated the authorization of the show “in multiple instances of conversation” with the group, but that “there was no reference to the fact that the work should have an age restriction and that there would be use of explicit language ”. The resignation of the person in charge of programming events in museums has opened the door to the review of one of the richest projects that Buenos Aires has. The city schedules hundreds of free cultural events every week, be it in elegant palaces like the Fernández Blanco or neighborhood community centers. Many of them diverge from the conservative turn being given by the mayor, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, who launched his presidential candidacy a few weeks ago. As of today, the authorities have announced, all these events will be reviewed under more severe scrutiny.
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