I am one of them. Just like the majority Filipino primates, I also belong to the Catholic Church worshiping Jesus, my God and my Savior. What others thought of me as heretic or apostate is definitely contrary to my true nature. I am rather a faithful Catholic who strongly defends the church yet remains respectful of other religions.
However, I can be as furious as my brothers in the forests of Congo if my faith is also under attack. That doesn’t mean I am less Catholic in doing it. It’s just that being a Catholic, you also ought to be firm in your faith and defend it.
For the past few weeks, the controversy on CCP had bruised that faith no matter how they try to justify that art is nothing but mere expression of the artist. But what do really want to express by cladding religious figures with condoms? Why can’t they express the meaning of their artworks? They just resort to defining art and evading the very message of their obras, which have gone overboard to what we coin as the ‘limits of freedom.’
I just couldn’t fathom for the life of me, why they keep on arguing the authentic meaning art as if they are the sole authority to define it. And why apply such art to what others revere as representation of their faith? I just wonder if pictures of Jesus will be substituted with images of their sisters, mothers, fathers, and members of the family loaded with lewd images around them – what do you think will they feel? Or let’s just substitute their subjects with the images of Mohammed and find out if they’ll remain standing at this very moment.
One thing for sure is present there: Maliciousness! Or shall I say, Disrespect? No matter how they try to justify their artworks, the truth that they offended 80% of the faithful is no less than denigrating in motive. If they really want to convey something, why not address it to the Christians themselves? If they hate Catholics, why not throw it in their faces? Fart!
The problem with the artist is they used to believe that subjectivity will always keep them free, that is why they keep on employing it in their side to justify their actions. Artists though they may be important in the primate world, are nevertheless prone to such mistakes. And what we witnessed in the CCP exhibit is one proof of that folly…and perhaps we need some objectivity in dealing with arts.
Maybe it’s time to re-define art with a tinge of practicality to avoid such incident again, of going beyond bounds of freedom. We have to be objective sometimes in order to put standards on what should be admitted in an art exhibit and what should be banned permanently. Unless we resolved such issue, cases like this will always surface once in a while.
But of course, these artists shouldn’t be left lose. Artists should be meant to spearhead changes in society, towards a better learning where respect should be the basic principle. Not otherwise! This is apparently contrary to what Suzanne Langer, a philosopher of art, said: “Art is the spearhead of society.” For as far as we know, what happened in CCP was not about spearheading changes, but a mere spectacle to gather public attention after having to create a little impact in the world of art. Shame on you, primates!