Public Artworks Canceled Ahead Of Rio Olympics

Public Artworks Canceled Ahead Of Rio Olympics

Brazil’s embattled culture ministry has reportedly canceled public artworks and cultural events ahead of the 2016 Rio Games, including an installation by Italian artist Giancarlo Neri.

O Globo reported last month that Neri’s piece, called “Bar Paris,” had been canceled following a Facebook post by the artist. The paper was then told in a statement by Brazil’s culture ministry that funding has been secured for previously announced cultural events, but other projects are “going through adjustments” to respect public spending and “efficiency.” Hat tip to the Art Newspaper for catching those reports and for translations.

According to O Globo (via Google Translate), culture event cancellations are multiplying and the only confirmed artworks are of “municipal responsibility.”

As for what art and culture events, exactly, are still planned during the Olympics, we don’t have much to go on. The BBC recently tried to find out what cultural programming is on deck, and was told by Carla Camurati, director of culture for the Rio Olympics, that it will mostly entail un-advertised, spontaneous events. From that report:

[Camurati] is putting on a brave face. She admits they have had to scale down their plans because of the cuts – but says the events will still go ahead.

When I ask her why there is no information anywhere, she says: “There will be lots of surprise events, they’re not advertised in advance.

“They will be spontaneous and outside in the streets.”

When I press her for more details, she says there will be flash mobs, dancing, street theatre and literary events, adding: “We have the weather for it, unlike London, and we should make the most of that.”

Lead-up to the Olympics, which kick off this weekend, has been rough going for the culture ministry. In May, Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer decided to dissolve the body and fold it into the education ministry, in an effort to cut costs during the country’s economic crisis. He then reinstated it after considerable outcry from the Brazilian art community. Meanwhile, as the Art Newspaper notes, 81 culture ministry employees were fired in July.

Featured Image via International Olympic Committee Flickr.