Government censors work of art, shuts down Venezuelan pavillion in Venice

June 19, 2003

Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel loves to say that there has never been “so much” freedom in Venezuela as there is now. Well, I don’t recall a case of censorship like that applied to artist Pedro Morales for being “disrespectful” in his art for the Venezuelan representation at the Venice Biennale. Morales was selected by a jury to present his art at the country’s pavillion at the Biennale. (Well, I think you have to go back to Caldera banning “Last Tango in Paris” in the early 70’s). Morales’ work entitled “City Rooms” contains videos that Government officials found disrespectful and Venezuela’s Pavillion simply never opened. (The funding was private, but it was an official presentation). You can see the artist’s version of events in his website where you can see the “offensive videos”. I imagine the one called NoTolerance,  is the offensive one. (There is a puppet imitating Chavez on his Sunday program, but perhaps it is simply the fact that it starts with the word referendum). Of course, Rangel, if asked, would say this is not censorhip but removal of offensive material or some euphemism like that.

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