Hate comments forced a Brazilian art gallery to close their queer art exhibition a month early.
Queermuseum: Queer Tactics Toward Non-Heteronormative Curating opened on 14 August.
The exhibition took place at The Santander Cultural, a gallery space sponsored by Santander bank.
8 October was originally due to be the exhibitions closing day.
Instead, it finished 10 September.
Santander’s buildings were tagged with phrases ‘Santander Bank supports pedophilia’ and ‘they are antichrists’ according to reports.
Gaudêncio Fidelis curated the exhibition.
He claimed he had not been consulted about Santander’s decision to close the exhibition.
Fidelis says during the 25 days the exhibition was open, there were no complaints.
The exhibition started to receive a lot of hate online last Wednesday.
Three men posted a video online of them running past artworks saying: ‘See for yourself whether this is art!’
They said that Fidelis should go to jail for ‘perverting the notions of family.’
One person took to Twitter to share pictures of the exhibition and say: ‘Look at the “art” that Santander sponsored with our tax dollars! Pedophilia, zoophilia, and offense to Christians. Sick!’
Hate comments also said the exhibition featured ‘faggot children.’
‘We understood some of the works disrespected symbols, beliefs, and people’
The museum announced the closing of the exhibition via a statement on Facebook.
They explained: ‘The aim of Santander Cultural is to encourage the arts and promote debate around the big questions of the contemporary world, and not generate any type of disrespect or discord.
‘Our role, as a cultural space, is to shed light on the work of curators and Brazilian artists to inspire reflection.
‘We have always done this without interfering in the content to preserve the independence of its authors, and this has been the most efficient way of delivering innovative work of quality to the public.
‘This time, however, we heard the complaints and understand that some of the works in the exhibition Queermuseum disrespected symbols, beliefs, and people, which is not in line with our view of the world.
‘When art is not capable of being inclusive and generating positive reflection, it loses its greatest purpose, which is to elevate the human condition.’
You can see the full statement on their Facebook.
Fidelis claims Santander was closely involved with the exhibition and knew about every piece in the collection.
He described their statement as ‘labyrinthine.’
The exhibition featured 85 artists and 263 artworks ranging from mid 20th century to today.
Fidelis described it as a ‘concept we believe in dearly: diversity observed under the aspects of variety, plurality, and difference.’