Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blasphemy! not Art.

Blasphemy! not Art. - Cried a Christian.
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was the Roman Emperor from 54AD to 68AD who used Christians to light his garden at night by setting them on fire. He also persecuted a lot of Christians for entertainment. It was also rumored that he killed one of the apostles.

Christians back then were strapped down on metal chairs placed on coals and burning fire and other torturous deaths preceded these unfortunate souls of the early ages. They were placed in the coliseum filled with angry bulls as targets and were burned alive for Rome’s entertainment.
These Christians died defending their religion, never renouncing their faith despite their skin scorched by metal or burned by fire. They stood their ground and held on to their faith of Christianity. They didn’t have photos of Jesus or a cross to worship back then, perhaps because it wasn’t in the market and artists aren’t around much. They only had their faith, shining brightly in their souls to guide them, they harmed no one despite their religion challenged or prohibited and when suspected of being Christians - which was considered a crime, they didn’t deny it.

Politeismo by Mideo M. Cruz exhibited in CCP has created such uproar with the Catholic Christian community, demanding for the exhibit be cancelled and or closed down. Vandalism were also made by the appalled Christians, attempting to burn down the exhibit is very… spiritual really.

Visual Art is a sibling of Literary Art and being able to express and convey your ideas to challenge people and tap into the shells of their souls - is what most of us are struggling to achieve – in forms we see would best fit without anyone dictating on our backs what not and what to do or how and how to do it.
We of course believe in a free world, free to express whatever we want to – until someone points a finger and demands for our expressions be halted out of being offended simply because they do not understand or that they think it’s wrong.

Martial Law On Art
Imelda Marcos has demanded the exhibit to be closed down. (Please check out the news on what she has to say about the exhibit, it’s all over the internet)
People who produced the exhibit and the artist have received death threats.

I’ve just read the news that the Kulo Exhibit will be closed down and it was a decision that boards have agreed upon.

Holy Christians!
I have read a lot of what the unhappy Christians had to say about the exhibit. Without understanding what the exhibit is trying to express, they have resorted to being appalled and called the exhibit and artist not –so-holy names aside from “blasphemous”.

But what is faith and how do you defend it? What is spirituality?
I am not a Catholic or any other follower of any branch of Christianity. I read about spirituality and religion. I do not bother going to church, it is a waste of time – I would rather read. I have read the bible (parts of it) and just recently the Teachings of Buddha. The next on my list would be the Quran.
Faith and Spirituality is not about worshipping stones, images, sculptures or toilets.
It is how we treat others and live our lives, following a ‘code’ which we will never betray ourselves for it is a sacrilege on our own. Faith and spirituality goes beyond that, beyond material symbolisms.

 As what the spiritual university taught me, we should detach ourselves from these materials as they are nothing but manmade illusions, what’s important is how we live each day and what’s here (Points to forehead, where the soul was believed to reside in our bodies) so if ever these objects were used in whatever form or ways, we are unaffected and are able effortlessly to contain PEACE within ourselves.
Burning and vandalizing other people’s property is not a shield to defend spirituality and faith, it is nothing but a weapon to harm others and worse, harm the image of the religion that is supposedly to be defended.

Am I spiritual? Not so much but I follow a certain path. I know enough not to harm anyone who insults or challenges me. Just enough to entertain any idea that comes my way and not react in such barbarous ways.

It is always fascinating to see what these Christians have to say and would do when their religion has come into play, especially in our country. They always have something to say, most of the time from a rigid and narrow perspective.
People who were offended didn’t see the art form in its wholeness but it was the parts that offended them simply because they lacked the proper education or capacity to understand, then they labeled it as immoral and wrong.

But what if it were created to offend a religious community, which comprises more than 80% in this country? What if its own purpose is to create uproar? Then these people were nothing more than pawns… actors in a play.
And if it was made to insult and trash their religion, does it justify that the exhibit be vandalized and burned to the ground and closed down?

When Buddhism was starting out and Shakyamuni Buddha with his followers came to a town where everyone insulted them, degraded them and refused to give them food and even harmed them throwing out their preposterous beliefs. A follower of Buddha said “Why don’t we just move on to another town? We are being treated in such inhumane ways.” In which Buddha replied “And what if the next town is the same? Should we move to another town again? No… we stay here and endure this until it ceases” and it did.

Should art only convey the good? Should it be limited?
I suppose we should just write about happy poetry filled with all the positive adjectives available in the dictionary and maybe even sing praises.

Who’s really obscene here?
Is it the one who tried his ideas in harmless and artful ways or the ones who tried to express their ideas by vandalizing other people’s work and gave out death threats?

Art comes in all shapes and sizes.
Deal with it.

We FOLD. Sigh… We live in a world of bigots.

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