Christian outrage shutters contemporary art exhibit in Manila

1 Posted by - August 9, 2011 - Blog, Installations, Visual art

Mideo Cruz — Poleteismo

A contemporary art exhibit at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines has been shut down amid accusations that the work is “blasphemous”. According to a statement, CCP management closed the controversial Kulo exhibition after board members and artists received numerous threats.

While the organization gave few details, they did say that a work of artist Mideo Cruz featuring a red phallus on a cross was vandalized on August 4 when a couple tried to set it on fire.

Cruz said his installation, named Poleteismo or Polytheism, was conceived as a commentary on how idolatry has evolved throughout history. The targeted work symbolized the worship of men in a patriarchal society.

The CCP wouldn’t comment on whether they were asked — or told — by the government to close the show. The President of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III, was vocal in his opposition to the exhibition, stating that the work was offensive to the country’s Christian majority, and that he told CCP board members such an exhibit was inappropriate for an arts institution that accepts public funds.

Photo: Mideo Cruz’s Facebook Page.

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