‘Blasphemous’ UCC exhibit sparks outrage

A CONTROVERSIAL art exhibit at UCC has sparked outrage even before it is opened.

Entitled “Our Lady and Other Queer Santas”, by Alma Lopez, it goes on display at the college on Thursday of next week and is open to the public. It is part of a weekend conference on Hispanic studies that begins at UCC the following day.

The digital photo collage created by Lopez shows Our Lady of Guadalupe wearing a floral bikini with hands on hips in a provocative pose. Ms Lopez will talk about her exhibit at the conference.

The display has provoked an online protest and was also the subject of discussion with Joe Duffy on RTE radio’s Liveline show yesterday. A number of callers to the show said they regarded the exhibition as blasphemous, a view echoed by some online protesters.

Ms Lopez’s exhibit will run in tandem with a display entitled “EnAguas EnTlalocan / Prayer for Mother Waters” by Celia Herrera Rodriguez.

Both will be on view in the O’Rahilly Building at UCC. The conference will explore Chicano (or Chicana) culture and focus on the lives of US citizens of Mexican descent.

An outline of the conference on the UCC website describes Lopez, who was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, California, as a “cutting-edge Chicana feminist activist.”

UCC had not responded to a request for comment by time of publication.

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