Art can't be just simply "Beauty"
Last time, this writer was watching a commentary on the TV when I heard Imelda Marcos criticizing Mideo Cruz's work.
Upon watching and hearing her replies on TV, FL (as what Imelda was known during Martial Law) said that Cruz's work as "Ugly", parroting "Human Rights having limits", as well as insisting her "True, Good, and Beautiful" dictum that is also same goes as the establishment through its emblem.
And upon assessing it, like any other Christian Conservatives, Imelda directly criticized Cruz all after seeing Christ with a dildo, condom, or his eyes flowing with ink, as well as insisting that the Cultural Center of the Philippines should exibhit "Beautiful" works of art in accordance to her "true, good, and beautiful" philosophy. But, in assessing realities around us, is "reality" should be beautiful, especially after Imelda's dictum over the Cultural Center?
As for Imelda, Indeed that the Cultural Center should adhere to the "True, Good, and the Beautiful" in regards to artwork, but obviously, Mideo Cruz's work unveils the "truth" behind Pilipino religious life: A materialist guised as a religious, as evidenced by the posters of celebrities alongside religious figures; of condoms as well as the phallus. If yours truly had to ask Imelda, that since she still adheres to the "True, Good, and Beautiful," how come you want to Andy Warhol's exibhit? Is it beautiful? Remember Warhol also did works that seemed to be "pornographic" in the eyes of a Conservative? And secondly, how come the Film Centre became known as a "Flesh Fiesta" due to filming softcore porn? Are these also "True, Good, and Beautiful?"
Obviously, these should also be the same as Mideo Cruz's, and all things real can't be just "Beautiful", we may see things "Ugly," but despite its "Ugliness" lies reality, the "True" as what Imelda said so and the goals of the Cultural Center. And as the Conservative-leaning Church hierarchy as well as other Conservative individuals chanting "Morality" and the like despite the closure of Cruz's exhibit, same as appealing to the courts all against the Cultural Center and the artist, this writer personally says that the Philippines remained under direct clerical bondage= as evidenced by our constitution, supposedly secular in character yet "invoking god" same as disregarding the secular roots of our founding fathers, who are also anti-clerical to the extent of Fr. Mariano Gil's portrait with a dagger pointing at him, same goes the Churches during the early republic being transformed into prisons (except the Barasoain church that end up a legislative hall!). If they continue insisting, then why not assail also the Philippine flag having the holy trinity in it? The "Samahang Tatlong Persona Solo Dios" had that kind of flag infusing patriotic and religious symbols in it. Same goes the play "Ang Bagong Kristo" since there's the title of the play had "Kristo" in it; or even the "Santo Ninong Nakahubad" amulet that is peddled near the Basilica of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno in Quiapo?
After all, to a hardcore Conservative, religious or not, that Democracy meant disorder for there is misuse of morality. They would rather repudiate Democracy, critical thought and free flow of ideas in favor of a fixed social order with a strong deeply rooted morality that negates free will in favor of "just discipline." as if "Big Brother looks upon us" not noticing that they also did mistakes and oftentimes cloaked it with religious or ideological sense such as "Susmaryosep" as a curse despite saying the names of the holy family, same goes in praying just for a convenience like winning for a lottery.
And again, this person, despite of his Christian background, rather speak to everyone that this society, since ought to be "Democratic", should still adhere to its "Secularity" to the extent of direct separaton of Church and State, of Laicizing the society just like what Mabini envisioned over Calderon's wish of having the Catholic Church the Philippines' offical religion. For sure some artist who rally behind Cruz would also express the same remark not just "Freedom of Expression" itself, but a call for a critical thinking and assessment of ourselves, our faith and practise.