Exhibition “Kulo" Closed In Manila

Artist Mideo Cruz - Artist of "Poleteismo" exhibition

As the cultural centre closed down the main gallery where the Kulo art exhibition was on display an art group condemned the action on grounds that it attacks freedom of speech and expression in the Philippines.

“To allow the exhibit’s closure based on [the opinion of bishops and religious lay leaders” would set the precedent for all other exhibitions that would follow," said the Palayain ang Sining through a Facebook note posted 4:22 p.m. Tuesday by artist Mideo Cruz, adding that the issue surrounding the exhibit and Cruz’ piece “has gotten out of hand."

The artist in the photo above Mideo Cruz who created the piece “Poleteismo," which is part of the Kulo exhibition was called “blasphemous" by critics and was vandalized last week.

The gallery was shut down by CCP due to concerns of safety after receiving threats and risk of damage to the exhibits. The main concern by the art group defending the exhibition though is not art work by Cruz but the fact its overshadowing the fact of the bigger issue of censorship and repression.

“The bishops and religious lay leaders pushing for the closure of the exhibit are demanding not only that we persecute one person’s creative expression, but that we hinder any other creative expressions whose concept and presented ideologies they do not agree with," the group said. Things are more inline with Muslim religion in Afghanistan and Pakistan than free thinking Philippines.

Despite the shut-down Christian groups are still pushing ahead with filing criminal charges against the CCP and Cruz because its they’re belief “the Christian nation has been offended."

Replies from the artist group they argued “threats of filing legal charges have been made against the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and has cited Art. 201 of the Revised Penal Code. Yet this law in itself is contrary to Article 3 Section 4 of the Philippine Constitution."The said provision in the Constitution states that “no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances."

Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code meanwhile penalizes “those who shall publicly expound or proclaim doctrines openly contrary to public morals… those who, in theaters, fairs, cinematographs or any other place, exhibit, indecent or immoral plays, scenes, acts or shows,
whether live or in film, which are prescribed by virtue hereof, shall include those which… offend any race or religion; …are contrary to law, public order, morals, and good customs, established policies, lawful orders, decrees and edicts."

Backers of the church three senators have called officials of the CCP to resign for allowing “Tuko” to even be put on display alleging that the exhibit offended Roman Catholics.

More proof the church has its hands heavily into Philippines politics.