Monday, August 8, 2011

Artists defend controversial exhibition, Palace refuses to comment

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) has rallied behind artist Mideo Cruz, whose work Poleteismo has become the subject of criticism by Catholic groups. According to the group the condemnation of art exhibit of Jesus mixed with symbols of pop culture "smacks of religious fascism".

“We believe … that this demand to suppress the show smacks of the religious fascism of the friars … and is certainly unacceptable in the 21st century,” said the statement issued by the CAP.

The exhibition features images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary adorned with objects not related to Christianity. One work includes a crucifix with a condom. Another features a Christ the King figurine with rabbit ears.

"The bishops and the lay leaders … are within their rights to speak … and they are free to admonish the Catholic faithful regarding what they find objectionable," the artists’ group statement said.

Neil Doloricon, CAP secretary general, said criticism of the art work is "part of the artistic process and contributes to the growth of the artist".

"We caution critics, however, not to resort to intimidation and defamation that threaten the artist’s freedom of expression," he added.

When the CAP secretary general was asked whether they would approve of a similar affront to the image of Islam's Mohammed, Doloricon responded by saying "Erm, ah.. next question please".

The CCP on Friday appealed for respect following the vandalism of the exhibit on Thursday. The statement said the exhibit was protected by right to free artistic expression.

The artists have the right to insult Christians anyway they want, please show the artists some respect, the CCP statement said, even as the CCP board scheduled a special meeting to deliberate the meaning of "double standard".

The offended Christians were dumbfounded: "huh???"

Meanwhile, Palace refuses to comment on the blasphemous CCP art exhibit.

"At this point, we refuse to comment on this issue precisely because the Palace was never consulted by CCP, which was acting through its own board, who decided to put on the exhibit", deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told state-run radio dzRB.

When spokesperson Valte was further asked whether MalacaƱang would comment if a similar affront was made to the image of Islam's Mohammed, she responded by saying "Erm, ah.. next question please".


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