Was the CCP Poleteismo exhibit condemned by the bishops shown before in Loyola House of Studies?

Update: Loyola House of Studies denies showing controversial works of Mideo Cruz at 2007 Tutok Nexus Exhibit

From the Business World:

Since the controversy over Poleteismo exploded, the CCP’s Visual Arts Unit has been fielding calls from people requesting that Kulo be shut down. “The CCP will not be party to any censorship or suppression. Let it be a point of discussion,” said Ms. Flores, adding that she has seen works at the CCP that were “really, really, really more provocative and disturbing.” (Jose Legaspi’s installation in the Small Gallery, for example, which included a modified Pieta showing the Virgin Mother vomiting on the dead Christ.)

Poleteismo is an old piece first shown in 2002 at the Vargas Museum of the University of the Philippines. Mr. Cruz wasn’t thinking of the Reproductive Health Bill when he conceived Poleteismo nine years ago.

Versions of the installation have been exhibited elsewhere, most notably in 2007 in the lobby of the Loyola House of Studies (LHS) — a seminary inside the campus of the Ateneo de Manila University — as part of Tutok: Nexus, a group exhibit organized in cooperation with Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), “an association of religious priests, seminarians and lay people committed to the service of the Filipino Church and the Filipino nation.”

If Catholic clergymen had kept quiet, if Archbishop Oscar Cruz hadn’t called the exhibit “sickening,” if he hadn’t called the artist “sick,” if he hadn’t advised the artist to see a psychiatrist, if he hadn’t implied that the artist’s sexuality was abnormal, if Bishop Deogracias Iniguez hadn’t called for a boycott, then Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo could have gone unnoticed by the larger public.

When they find it in one of the alcoves of the Main Gallery, they will see multicolored plastic piggy banks stuffed inside a case usually reserved for religious statues; and Christ the King with a bright red clown nose, his right hand replaced by a Mickey Mouse glove, and his head crowned with Mickey Mouse ears made from a Coke can.

Hanging behind a divider is a cross with a bright red penis thrusting out from the vertical bar. And on the walls, a multimedia collage composed of a confusion of images and objects: there are ads, political paraphernalia from Fernando Poe Junior, Gilbert Teodoro, and Barack Obama; there are religious posters of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary, and the Holy Family; there are handouts, pamphlets, and stickers; there are rosaries, penis ashtrays, crucifixes, condoms, and Christmas lights; there’s a lot of stuff.

“Thereís nothing there that you won’t see in Quiapo,” said Karen O. Flores, officer-in-charge of the CCP Visual Arts Unit.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

6 Responses to Was the CCP Poleteismo exhibit condemned by the bishops shown before in Loyola House of Studies?

  1. josefusjoselitus says:

    If being scandalized would have the same weight as offended as far as criminal law of this land is concern, it would have been easier for us to charge midyo krus of offending us by his desecrating portrayal of Jesus Christ. As Christian I am certainly scandalized, but to say I’m offended may no longer be admissible esp on the legal point of view. Will there be any law to backed-up cry “Christians are offended, or Catholics are offended?”

    This is the problem. Many may shout punishment vs midyo and maybe to CCP leadership allowing such desecrating portrayal but should there be any law by which interpretation be explicitly saying the act is punishable? Would this be punishable under Philippine Senate Bill 2464: “Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Act of 2008?″

    SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the State to give special value to the dignity of every human person and to promote and safeguard its integrity and the moral, spiritual and social well-being of its citizenry, especially the youth in general and women in particular, from the pernicious effects of obscenity and pornography. To effectively enforce this policy, the government shall wage a relentless campaign against obscenity and pornography. Likewise, the government shall see to it that educational institutions are complying with their constitutional mandate to strengthen ethical and spiritual values and to develop moral character and personal discipline.

    SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. -As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:

    (a) “Obscene” refers to anything that is indecent or offensive or contrary to good customs or religious beliefs, principles or doctrines, or tends to corrupt or deprave the human mind, or is calculated to excite impure thoughts or arouse prurient interest, or violates the proprieties of language and human behavior, regardless of the motive of the producer, printer, publisher, writer, importer, seller, distributor or exhibitor such as, but not limited to:

    (1) showing, depicting or describing sexual acts;
    (2) showing, depicting or describing human sexual organs or the
    (3) showing, depicting or describing completely nude human
    (4) describing erotic reactions, feelings or experience

    Or will the interpreter of the law would just say in the end, “It’s just purely an artist’s arts works the fact that it is being displayed in an art center, it may be something if displayed/exhibited in the church’s sanctuary or any place inside a church or on someone’s house without the owner’s consent.” Basta sa art center walang malisya dyan”. Can we portray in the center for art’s sake picture of a well known politician doing a thing with an elephant? Ibang usapan na “yan, at di kayang gawin yan nang kahit sino mang midyo matapang na gusto lang sumikat! Dito si Christ lang naman ang binastos e, kaya walang batas para dyan. Ganon?

    Will there possibly be anybody who would dare challenge this in a court of law? Let us see! Edmund Burke’s famous lines, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing”

    Midyo may have attained his end anyway.

  2. yellahfellah says:

    if it is true that included in the exhibit is a crucifix with a penis, then i would think that it is indeed sacreligious, sickening and very offensive. was it the same exhibit shown before in loyola house? or just a portion?

  3. percy says:

    what i don’t understand is how easy it is for people to mock Christ and don’t have the guts to do the same for other religions’ gods. is this the freedome we want?

  4. msweng says:

    Hindi naman lahat ng artwork ay made to be beautiful and politically correct. Hindi porke ayaw mo sa isang ideya ay di na pwedeng ipalabas. Nakakainsulto, nakakainis, bastos… hindi kanais-nais karapatan pa ring pakinggan . Dito makikita ang tunay na demokrasya. Hangga’t di natin matanggap ang karapatan nyang maging bastos sa kanyang art kuno wala tayong ipinagkaiba sa mga Hudeyong pumatay kay Hesus o sa mga Teroristang pumapatay ng mga inosente. Sa puntong art.. mabuting na lang at hindi ako artist..yung gawa niya tingin ko CRASS at CHEAPIPAY. Hindi naman kasi bukod tangi .. marami nang art na ganito. Ewan ko baka marami ang naiinis kasi walang ka art art.. sana mang iinsulto ka lang naman ng ganito ka sublime na subject..cheap pa.. kaya siguro marami ang naiinis kasi ang cheap ha! Kontrobersyal na subject pero ang portrayal ang baduy. Kaya wag nang patulan sa tingin ko kahit mura lang di mabenta ito. Tsk tsk.. much ado about nothing. (Di ba right ko rin namang manuri?)

  5. Gi says:

    Percy, we are in this country where the Church always claims that majority of our population is Catholic and where we have witnessed a history of corrupt Church leaders and practices. In our country, the Church remains a powerful force in dictating the direction of legislation even though the Church and the State are constitutionally mandated to be separated. The point is, the image of Jesus Christ is representative of the Church and is mocked primarily because in the Filipino context, it is the Church that has so penetrated and influenced politically even though it is not supposed to.

  6. Ben Langcuyan says:

    Yucks . . . what those artists wants to express? Very Disgusted of Church?

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