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Enchanted Carcass (1972)

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This article expands on a little-known work by Paulo Fernando Novaes Correia, Boi Encantado (Enchanted Carcass) that created a stink by defying expectations of museum protocol when it was shown in 1972. By contextualizing Boi Encantado within the particular circumstances of Brazilian history, this article examines an artwork whose mephitic intervention into an institution crossed into the public arena, complicating the role of institutions as neutral interlocutors between artists and viewers. Boi Encantado, shown at the sixth Jovem Arte Contemporânea exhibition in São Paulo, brings to light the tensions generated between a museum's commitment to artistic freedom and the display of works probing the limits of institutional tolerance. Such tensions expose the challenges of promoting creative freedom while administering institutional authority, particularly in the context of increasing military repression in Brazil circa 1972.

Keywords: Brazil; Elena Shtromberg; JAC; Paulo Fernando Novaes Correia; Walter Zanini; art; decay; institutional critique; military repression; museum

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-11-01

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