"Fiat ars - pereat mundus"
A message to Ben Chan and his Apologetics
trying to justify the controversial "Naked Truth"
by Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro
It's been weeks ago when the controversial event known as "The Naked Truth" brought initial popularity with a barrage of messages pro-and-con to the said event.
Based from comments in various social media sites, some, if not most people would criticize the said event for it shows immorality, as well as the depiction of women as a commodified being; while others tend to defend it out of plain, simple artistry, trying to be at par with the west when it comes to appreciating Filipino fashion such as those of Bench's Ben Chan and his folk.
However, speaking of those whom called that said event as artistic, it seems that this writer would at first dare to ask them: for whom? Of course, they would say nothing other than for art's sake, L'Art poir L'Art that actually masks the real intention such as to sell what is well known and keep it trendy as possible regardless of its nothingness besides being negatively criticized.
But in spite of their justifications such as for art's sake, the late French writer George Sand said this 2 centuries ago, that L'art pour l'art was an empty phrase, an idle sentence. And asserted that artists had a "duty to find an adequate expression to convey it to as many souls as possible", ensuring that their works were accessible enough to be appreciated.
That somehow he and his folk tried to make it both accessible and appreciative in a form of a fashion show that end rather barraged by criticism especially after seeing Coco Martin and a woman in his leash. And women's groups like GABRIELA seriously abhorred that kind of event that also means subjugation of women over the whims of men.
Yet still, his folk insist it as for art's sake, or even trying to compare their events with those of the west with all the lingerie shows and exposure of nipples in their breasts, if not using the red scare card as radicals criticize the commdification of women and a culture gone degenerated. But seriously, this writer knows that Ben Chan is better than his on the first place, that his creativity had brought him fame the way his relatives being known for making lamps. But then he chose to leave matters to those that made his event exaggerated and his name be nearly tarnished.
Yes, to theirs it's "art for art's sake" regardless of what most people see as just exploitative.
And since they continue to insist their alibis (or rather, Stand), then sorry to say but theirs isn't art at all but plain and simple commercialism that primarily entices more to buy from your shop and gain profits in it. Different from Coco Chanel, Rene Salud, or even the lowly dressmaker who makes clothes without any claptrap except good service to its customers through their craft.
Admittingly speaking, this person had wore shirt bought from its shop so was his hair styled through its products, ate its marshmallows, and once surfing the net in its computer shop in Greenbelt. But in spite of that doesn't mean tolerate a sheer nonsense his apologetics trying to justify about. Not even the late artists Amorsolo or Tolentino would even appreciate of it as a art as well in spite of they making nude scuptures and paintings yet has sense different from for chrissakes.
And since they say "art for art's sake", then art should be free of claptrap including profiteering and commercialism, or may as well let the world perish and create something anew. Again, Mr. Chan is better than them, but in order to be better he should think beyond the parameters of just plain aesthetics.
"Fiat ars - pereat mundus"
Let art create art, and the world be perish.
That's all for now.