Wednesday, August 17, 2011
How Far Can an Artist Go in a Religious Country?
The recent controversy in Manila over local artist Mideo Cruz’s Kulo exhibition raises the question of how far an artist can go in terms of religious art in a religious country—in this case, the Philippines, which is more than 80% Roman Catholic. Kulo, which means “boil,” set Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila’s blood boiling. Rosales denounced the show as “blasphemous.” President Benigno Aquino used the power of the government to shut the exhibition down, thus drawing complaints from artists’ groups over freedom of speech. Freedom of speech issues are always thorny, but when an artist’s work pricks community sensibilities so deeply for little visible gain, at least so far, it makes one wonder if it is possible that an artist can go too far when it comes to religious art in a religious country. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How Far Can an Artist Go in a Religious Country?"