And now for some important yakking

Aug 18, 2011 by

I told myself a few weeks ago that I’ll avoid writing about sad and negative stuff because there are too many good stuff being ignored. Our TV routine just before dinner brings us enough bad news that we turn to food and blame its blandness when it fact it’s our sad hormones that polluted our palate. Here’s one item that should be given due rest:

The CCP controversy on Mideo Cruz’s “blasphemous” visual arts exhibit. It is this kind of situation that creates extremism among the level-thinkers. It’s either you stand by the Church’s opinion on the so-called indignation or you rally with the art-fighters who decry oppression of self-expression. I have not seen the exhibit, but reading about expert opinions (by experts, I mean those artists who have earned unquestionable merits through their work), I think Mideo Cruz as an artist did not achieve the adoration an artist rightfully deserves. Was it intentional? Did he intend for his work to offend people and the church? I would never know. But if an art work gets a collective disapproval from the community, then it is bad art. But whether it is good or bad, the artist is entitled to expressing it in the proper venue where it can get a certain amount of tolerance. To put it in CCP is a wrong move. CCP being the most important avenue for artists’ display of their arts in the Philippines is responsible for judging an art to be exhibited for several values: artistic quality, social relevance, authenticity, life abstractions, and so on. While CCP upholds the right of artists to self-expression, there is a certain level of tolerance that should have been considered. Once that tolerance is tipped, it can have devastating effects to the general image of CCP being a sound judge of what is socially acceptable art. The whole controversy is a debatable lot and we can go on and on arguing which is which, but it all boils down to WHAT YOU THINK & FEEL ABOUT IT.

I just wish that the church leaders also approach this issue with extreme care. To some extent, I am beginning to feel that the Tyranny of the church is emerging based on the kind of language that bishops and priest use against anyone who offends the church. As Christians, there is no need for name-calling and for threats. The more the priests and bishops come too strong and too aggressive, the more it makes people step back from this religion. I for one would not want to listen to a priest who preaches about compassion and repentance when he himself batters a juvenile artist with foul language and barbaric condemnation. We are no longer in the dark ages. Both parties should just put this issue to an end and move on with our lives.

Mideo Cruz posing with his exhibit entitled Poleteismo (photo from http://www.dilsonblog.com)

CCP chair Emily Abrera explains to senators why the CCP pushed through with the controversial art exhibit by artist Mideo Cruz. Beside her is CCP president Raul Sunico. Photo by LYN RILLON from inquirer.net

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