Friday, 12 August 2011

Storming their "Heavens"

Storming their "Heavens"

by Paul Smirnoff

Last time, everybody had witnessed the direct anger of the church.

Is it the RH bill again?
the automobiles given by former President Arroyo?

For that time the church vent its rage all over again after an artwork made by an artist that featured Catholic idolatry and being fused with contemporary art, thaat despite mirroring the reality of a fanatically-induced faith in an overtly materialistic setting, they simply assailed it and be called as blasphemy and vandalism.

And as expected, most "faithful" are quite joining the fray as they kept on criticizing both the artist and the Cultural Center of the Philippines as a "coddler" of "anti-Christs" like Mideo Cruz, but on the other hand the artist was simply expressing that his works are clearly based on realities that may involve the materialistic tendencies of man and using faith as its "contributor" to their meaningless desire. After all you may see scapulars, crucifixes alongside posters of politicos and artists around, a feature of a certain room in a lower class home.

And speaking of that feature, in a lower class home, how come the church didn't criticize it too? Obviously Mideo Cruz was probably inspired by those features that made him compel to do so-of seeing a religious fanatic-cum-overtly materialist individual through his work. But despite all justifications, the "faithful" kept on crying blasphemy all over again to Mr. Cruz, that even his work being vandalized too aside from being closed by the Cultural Center; he himself became a victim of a so-called "morality" imposed by the "all mighty church that still kept on dominating our own faith and reason for many years and still counting.

But there are others who are joining in Cruz's crusade. According to the Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Mideo Cruz was simply expressing his thought through art, yet the Church still pressured to close the exhibit, as it said:

"The bishops and the lay leaders who are pressuring the CCP to close the show are within their right to speak against KULO, and they are free to admonish the Catholic faithful regarding what they find objectionable in Mideo’s artwork. We believe, however, that this demand to suppress the show smacks of the religious fascism of the friars of Rizal’s time and certainly unacceptable in the 21st century."

Same goes in the statement, entitled "Palayain ang Sining" as it said:

"-The whole issue surrounding the KulĂ´ exhibit at the CCP, and particularly that of Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo, has gotten out of hand, to say the least. But let us not get sidetracked. Focusing our attention and ire on one person has made us overlook the larger underlying issue, which affects not only Mideo Cruz but all of us as creators of art and as members of the viewing public: that of censorship and repression."

This person agree on what these statements being said, that obviously the system seemingly disregarded its secular background, of separating church and state in favor of imposing censorship especially against Mideo Cruz and his work. But these kind of repressive action also affected those who use art as a weapon against the rotten social order prevailing-that once I had a friend who had to run past a cop after having a wall sprayed and said: "No to oil price increase" in the wall, lucky he didn't end up caught, as well as others who do sticker bombing that make walls or posts in the streets "littered" with stickers or graffitis sign of expression, and expression also include anti-religion or not, but then in a Pilipino society it is as if that religion is above everything just because they are the ones who impose "morality" in a supposed secular society, and the overtly conservative would say that the constitution said "Almighty god" in it, so why you are against it?

Well, Personally, this person's been a catholic for long, but despite my religion of his birth he insist on secular upbringing that involves freedom to believe and also not to believe a certain dogma like "wearing sackcloth" or "kissing the feet", these two are merely added to justify temporal power than of a spiritual one; and now as the Conservatives amongst the religious sow hatred amongst the secular minded, assailing an artist who created the reality behind religious figures, isn't it obvious that they wanted to control people all for the sake of their interpretation of faith-that the artist made him said:

I never go out of my way to offend; but I do like to provoke debates and critical thinking. Art is a way of expressing one’s views about the world, culture and history, and this is what I do in my work. The audience is free to make their own conclusions and interpretations about the images I create, but I must confess I didn’t expect for anyone to react so violently against ‘Poleteismo.’ The worse that I would’ve expected is for no one to come to the CCP and see my work or those of the my colleagues in this exhibition,”

And aside from provoking critical thinking amongst individuals, particularly the religious, he's also unveiling the real side of every worshiper-a materialist so to speak. That after going mass going to a nearby department store, or eating at a fastfood chain, of hastingly opening wallet looking for money, or even praying all for the sake of winning a bet, these actions show what kind of a religious person he/she is whose mind is of an overly materialist one?

After all, the god of the rotten system is the god of the oppressors. Why these men in habits and its hordes of fanatics tries to control everything in the society, including culture and the arts? Yesterday they've assailed the reproductive health and the divorce bill, trying to justify Arroyo and the Pajeros given by a Government institution, then this? Assailing an artist due to his direct criticism on excessive worshiping of idols and its "significance" to society?

Sorry to say so, but obviously, most "religious" aren't really religious. They are rather materialists who look after materialistic things and using religion as its pretext for their fantasies. How come a breeder of fighting cocks hath its foul ate a host that is being blessed- All in order to get win since that host is blessed by the priest? How come also those who after acting holy during mass end up dismayed or rather say getting a bad trip to a certain person especially after a personal or a financial dispute? Or even praying in order to win their respective bet or even making an idol out of that certain person such as a politico, artist or a sports icon These people obviously doing far from their faith, worse, they use their faith for their desire especially a tangible one, or even creating faith also out of it. As Cruz said further:

“...Throughout history, humanity has grown to create new gods and these are not always religious figures but concepts and objects. Some have taken to worshipping money; some see politicians as godsend. People create idols and these idols whether or not they’re deserving of idolatry or worship affect our lives and how we function and see the world,”

Even this hell of a kind government imposed a cult, for years we think of every president, senator, mayor, all government officials as messiahs and disciples that as if trying to make the Philippines great again yet still living in squalor, then blaming everything without any solution to appease those being blamed-once they've blamed the ones living in a "squatters area" but they didn't notice that these are also the ones they enticed to vote for him/her as a candidate for a respective position and given paper programs and projects carrying their name (a project of...) that as of creating a major political cult in every part of the land.

The Marcoses did it in Ilocos,
the Aquinos did it in Tarlac,
Villafuertes in Bicol,
and Lobregats in Zamoanga,
Osmenas in Cebu,
and Romualdezes in Leyte,

these politicos instituted cults of themselves and nearly described as messiahs yet demons in fact.

Lately, the University of Santo Tomas disowned him and being called an "Unprofessional artist." for his work, as UST's vice rector Tiong said:

"The University as an academic community and as a Catholic institution would also like to express that it is denouncing the sacrilegious or religious offensive art works included in the exhibit and all other artwork of similar nature...Moreover the said sacrilegious or religiously offensive artworks are nothing but a kind of artworks expected and or produced by unprofessional artist,"

Well, it is obvious for a conservative Catholic institution like UST to say so-denouncing a heretic, to call those against the faith (like freethinkers, deists, even amongst Catholics) sacreligious and wanting to destroy his/her prestige, for sure others may hath willing to agree what the rector said so, and may've started creating sermons out of these kind of issues same as assailing freethinkers in guise of Well versed prayers, and even the columnist but not all Catholics rally behind those people in habits nor all habit-garb individual agree in the overtly responses of their superiors. Even a Protestant writer even assailed out of morality and even said about his grandfather who insisted placing a fig leaf in a work of art made by Guillermo Tolentino and telling everyone that "Morality is above art!"

Good to say so that Morality is above art, BUT WHOSE MORALITY? The morality based on this or that? After all these questions and answers chosen are gifts of free will, and sorry to say all of us are victims of free will and its responsibilities like Mideo Cruz, or even Dong Abay whose song also criticizes faith and reality.

And since the Church disowned Cruz, then fine, disown him! For sure Cruz didn't mind it, but despite the criticisms, the assailing, and even death threats, more and more will willing to rally over the artist and storm over the heavens like a dozen monkey kings willing to make the world upside down-for the Philippines is supposed to be a secular country, why religion should matters most all the time?

Why not have it in a private matter?