The Prize for the most controversial public sculpture 2021 has been claimed by a newly installed 33m high concrete crimson vulva in Brazil.
Recessed onto a hillside within a sculpture park in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, Diva, by the Brazilian artist Juliana Notari, intends to question the "problematisation of gender" and change perspectives on human relationships that create an "unequal and catastrophic world". These issues are "increasingly urgent", referring to the country's political climate under the leadership of President Jair Bolsonaro, she adds.
Following Argentina's decision to legalise abortion, Bolsonaro expressed sympathies via Twitter for the lives of Argentine children "now subject to being cut in their mothers' wombs with state consent" and vowed to never approve abortion in Brazil.
Described by his critics as an enemy of the arts, Bolsonaro's presidency has also seen the cultural censorship of a number of minority groups including Afro-Brazilians and the LGBTQ+ community. However, many also expressed support for Notari's work, acknowledging its importance in addressing pressing issues in Brazilian society.