“If there’s a Barbie doctor, a teacher and a police officer, why shouldn’t there be a Virgin of Luján Barbie?” say Pool Paolini and Marianela Perelli. For their exhibit “Barbie, The Plastic Religion” opening in Buenos Aires on October 11th, the artists are fashioning 33 Barbie dolls after various Catholic saints and prominent mythological characters.
Their series, which includes an awkwardly crucified Ken doll and plastic, bare-breasted Mary Magdalene, is causing mild controversy in religious communities.
“Barbie Difunta Correa,” based on a semi-pagan folk-religion figure, is upsetting some Argentinian religious leaders because “this is a figure of faith which we care for very much and it is why we patented her image and name years ago.” Some Hindu leaders aren’t too keen on the blue-painted Kali because “Barbie-fication of Kali is simply improper, wrong and out of place.”
The outrage is pretty modest, likely because the artist duo, who is working on Islam-inspired Barbies, “plans to skip representing Muhammad, as this religion condemns representing the prophet.” (Fatwās are so 2010.)