BUENOS AIRES: Argentine officials on Thursday condemned a sexually explicit performance staged in the halls of the nation's top public university, complete with feigned masturbation and full-on nudity.

Pictures from the provocative live installation titled "Pleasure Wednesday," went viral after finding their way to the Internet, compounding the government's ire and embarrassment over the work, which was staged by the social science department at the University of Buenos Aires.

The event, held in the middle of the academic day, involved several actors, including naked women engaging in mock acts of masturbation, at least one splayed on a table at the entrance of the social sciences building as hundreds of students thronged the halls.
Organisers said "Pleasure Wednesday" was meant to be an intellectual exercise inviting viewer to contemplate their own relationship to sex, gender and pornography.

The installation, via signs displayed during the event, invited the public "to move beyond their pornographic imagination" and experience other forms of "sexualised existence" within the confines of the university.
Internet images showed the protagonists in various sexual poses, with and without props, certain to provoke indignation in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.

Education Minister Alberto Sileoni in a radio interview on Thursday said the halls of learning were not the appropriate place for such event, even if its intentions were high-minded.

"An explicit exhibition of this nature can be done, but not in an academic environment," Sileoni told Radio America, denouncing the event as simply "wrong."
Officials at the University of Buenos Aires on Thursday also distanced themselves from the event, which they said they had not authorised. "The authorities of the department were not informed about the content" of the event, and had not given authorisation for its staging "in areas of free circulation" at the university, a department statement said.