November 22, 2005

PlushLula, Brazilian President Doll


Brazilian conceptual artist Raul Mourao has opened an exhibition called Luladepelucia, or PlushLula, at a Rio de Janeiro gallery called Lurixs. Along with some other works, the show features 100 limited edition plush versions of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, better known to his beleaguered countrymen as Lula.

lula_plush_wall.jpgMourao says he conceived of the idea in 2003, when the left-leaning Lula was basking in widespread, giddy, rock-star-like popularity after his election. But politics is a funny business; one day you're saving the world from evil dictators, and the next, you can't dodge the press because the hotel doors are locked on you.

By the time Mourao worked out the production details for his dolls, Lula's administration had become embroiled in a far-reaching bribery scandal involving suitcases full of cash that had thrown the country into turmoil. The timing puts the dolls in a new light:

Lula is no longer the miracle worker of the olden days ñ the emperor is naked and the dream is over.
Luladepel™cia has also undergone a few mutations...If we take a good look at him, he is not as fluffy and soft and huggable as he used to be. We now think twice before wishing to hug him. Thereís something ëchuckyí about him: a murderous toy with his not-so-friendly expression, a bristle-haired, second-phase gremlin, the doll of Dorian Gray.
If you don't want to shell out 1,000 Reals (about $450) for a murderous little Lula, just wait. With the Abramoff scandal about to break wide open, Americans may get a chance to see if our corrupt politicians make cute plushtoys, too.

Plushlula at Lurixs, Nov. 19-Jan 14 [ in eng./port. via reg]

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