“La Bestia y el soberano" (The Beast and the Sovereign)
Artist: Ines Doujak
Date of Action: March 18, 2015
Medium: Public Art
Confronting Bodies: Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)
Description of Artwork: Former Spanish king Juan Carlos and Bolivian Labor leader Domitila Chúngara involved in a sexual act with a dog on a bed of SS helmets.
The Incident: In an open letter, the curators of the exhibition says that the management was informed of the theme and contents of the exhibition. The director had validated the project and the list of all exhibiting artists were published at MACBA's webpage months ago.
MACBA's director Bartomeu Marí claims he had not seen the artwork until a few days before the exhibit were to open. “I don't want to spend time describing the piece, which I consider inappropriate and contradictory to the museum's line," Marí told El País. “I have always fought to defend contemporary art and its role in the reality that surrounds us, but in this case, I completely disagree with the inclusion of this work in an exhibition that reflects on the concept of sovereignty in all its aspects."
Results of Incident: Marí suggested that the sculpture "Not Dressed for Conquering" should be removed, but the artist and the curators declined, and he decided to cancel the whole exhibition “La Bestia y el soberano" (The Beast and the Sovereign). On Friday the 20th of March, Marí announced that the exhibition would open the following day, including "La Bestia y el soberano".
Sunday March 22nd, MACBA's board of trustees accepted Marí's resignation. The board also fired the two MACBA curators involved in the exhibition, Valentín Roma and Paul B. Preciado, at the request of the outgoing director, who cited “an irrecoverable loss of trust" in them, El País reported. According to a document released by the board of trustees, Marí will stay in post for three or four months, until a suitable replacement is found.