Just my opinion: For art’s sake?
August 6, 2011; 12:58 p.m.
(as seen on: http://definitelyfilipino.com/blog/2011/08/07/just-my-opinion-for-art%E2%80%99s-sake/)
Art is one of the few things in life in which freedom of expression is used. And in fact, that “freedom of expression” is one of our basic constitutional rights. But once a sector spots flaws that violate either cultural, moral and/or religious values, expect long debates ahead.
Mideo Cruz’s artwork turned out to be controversial after the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (or CBCP) broke their silence and protested in behalf of many people complaining that Cruz’ masterpiece was a piece of “Polytheism and blasphemy” in a open forum at the Cultural Center of the Philippines yesterday.
But that’s just not it. Apparently in a report posted August 4, 2011 at ABSCBNnews.com, Mideo Cruz’s art which was part of the Kulo exhibit had been vandalized when a man and woman walked in to the gallery and vandalized then at around 11:30 a.m. the previous day. In case you haven’t seen his work, news clips will show you everything and that includes some religious figures with a condom, a man’s penis and even rabbit or Mickey Mouse’s ears.
However, Concerned Artist of the Philippines defends Cruz and shown their support. Saying that nothing wrong on his work and in fact was a product of “freedom of expression” and that was guaranteed by the Constitution.
On the other hand, Dr. Primitivo Chua of Ang Kapatiran stated in between the word war of the parties that “Hindi yan gawa ng Pilipino. Gawa yan ng demonyo! Pero itong ginawa niyo dito kabastusan… kalaswaan! Mahiya kayo!” perhaps that statement says it all for the part of CBCP and the party list as Ang Kapatiran will file a case regarding the violation of an article of the Revised Penal Code regarding the immoral doctrines if CCP will not pulled the piece out.
Cruz’s response all boiled down to this: "You can't force people. But I just hope that when we look at something, the process doesn't stop at the surface." He has been for 10 years in his occupation and his trademarks for his most of his works were primarily Polytheism, an act of “social criticism and it is part of social development to criticize what’s happening.” That came from the words of Karen O. Flores, officer-in-charge of the CCP Visual Arts Unit.
But as the word war explodes, so are the reaction from all the corners. Like one Facebook user posted "May your soul burn to (sic) hell, you Devil pro (sic) artist," in a news article posted at Interaksyon.com2. Also, a certain Rozanna Martini called Cruz a ****ing asshole and wishes him the worse in hell.
Okay, let me give my take for the matter.
Every one of us has a freedom to express ourselves. In fact, “artistic license” do exist in our acts of doing it. In case of Mideo’s if you think his art was his product of his freedom and was really worth it or another piece of blasphemy. Well, I’m saying “it’s both.”
It was a grave disrespect to the religion of the Catholicism not in the country, but in the world where countries are having Catholic and Christianity as its pre-dominant religions. Call it a blasphemy, him an Atheist, a socially irresponsible citizen, or even a fan of Polytheism. But I’m telling you. It’s his art, not for the church and for anyone else. It’s his right to express his freedom and badly seeking for recognition. Now after spotlights off media all over him I think he was fulfilled at the moment. However, J. Pacena, the curator of Kulo expressed disappointment around the malice reports that the media is showing. “No one tried to understand what he was trying to say. He was condemned and we were judged in a primitive way,”
I mean, Mideo Cruz has his right to express his art regardless of a lot of criticism and death threats responding on his masterpieces. He’s an artist anyway, and his work was at the Cultural Center which was obviously, the venue for the arts. If something could be really wrong, that is up to him and the Supreme Being to judge. For the mean, time if you want to make a good recognition of art, put everything in balance. However for the society where negativity was the name of the game, it takes a bunch of weird ideas to be popular. And not all freedom was given to us by absolute manner as Karen Flores said, "Yes, you can have your faith, and that can be respected. But you must also be able to tolerate and understand other people's views."
Author: slick master | © 2011 september twenty-eight productions. Sources are stated below.