Barbie, The Plastic Religion
Artist: Emiliano Paolini and Marianela Perelli
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: South America
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Confronting Bodies: Anonymous threats
Description of Artwork: The exhibit, "Barbie, the Plastic Religion" was slated to open on October 11, 2014 at the POPA gallery in Buenos Aires. The work included 33 Barbies rendered as figures from many different religions, including Barbies posing as the Virgin Mary and the Hindu goddess Kali. Ken was also shown as a crucified Jesus, Saint Sebastian, and Buddha. Interestingly enough, the artists did not include a "barbiefied" version of the prophet Muhammed in their exhibit.
The Incident: The artists and the gallery received numerous anonymous threats, as well as heavy criticism in op-eds and other media sources from around the world. One of the depictions was of the Difunta Correa, which one citizen was quoted as saying "this is a figure of faith which we care for very much and it is why we patented her image and name years ago,” and if the situation were up to him, he would sue the pair over infringement.
Results of Incident: The show was canceled ahead of the opening.