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© Humberto Araújo

Domínio Público  

(Public Domain)

by Elisabete Finger (BR),  Maikon K (BR), Renata Carvalho (BR) and Wagner Schwartz (BR)

In 2017, the Brazilian artists, Elisabete Finger, Maikon K, Renata Carvalho and Wagner Schwartz, were the target of public attacks and the subject of heated public debates about art censorship and freedom of expression in Brazil. 

In his performance La Bête, Wagner lies naked on stage and proposes to the audience to bent and manipulate his body — revisiting the proposal of the sculptures in the work Bichos (The Critter), by Lygia Clark. In his presentation at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art the performer was touched by a child, who was accompanied by her mother. A video clip of this moment was manipulated by extreme-right wing and conservative groups and went viral on social networks, claiming that the artist was a "pedophile."

Elisabete, choreographer and mother of the child who participated in La Bête,  has suffered an avalanche of public accusations and threats in the aftermath of the performance,  amidst police inquiries and political interrogations that have questioned the role of women, mothers, art audiences and art making in Brazil today.

In his performance DNA of DAN, Maikon K stands naked and motionless inside a transparent bubble. In his presentation in front of the National Museum of the Republic in Brasilia, his scenery was damaged by members of the audience and he was detained by the military police on fake charges that the artist was performing an obscene act in public.

Renata, a transgender actress, had her play — The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven - censored and was prevented from presenting herself as a transexual interpreting the role of Jesus Christ.

Public Domain (Domínio Público) is a collaboration between these four artists. Taking “The Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most important icons of art history as their starting point, they share with the audience how artworks can be misinterpreted and used in different narratives throughout the ages, inciting the most diverse reactions, and mirroring the facts and absurdities of our societies.


Death threats and denunciations: the artists who fear Bolsonaro's Brazil

Brazil Arts Institutions under attack 


Creation, text and performance
Elisabete Finger
Maikon K
Renata Carvalho
Wagner Schwartz 

Artistic collaboration
Ana Teixeira  

Costume design
Karlla Girotto  

Costume assistant
Flávia Lobo  

Felipe Ramirez 

Lights and technical direction
Diego Gonçalves 

Núcleo Corpo Rastreado – Gabi Gonçalves   

Festival  de Teatro de Curitiba (Curitiba -BR)  

International Distribution
Something Great (Berlin - DE)

Casa Líquida
Fernanda Yamamoto

Alba Roque and Julia Feldens