Artists call closure of ‘Kulo’ exhibit censorship



and their supporters call on the CCP to reconsider its decision of
closing down the controversial “Kulo” exhibit during a press conference
at UP Diliman in Quezon City. (l-r Iggy Rodriguez, Bienvenido Lumbera,
Buen Calubayan, and Karen Flores) Photo by Rem Zamora for

MANILA, Philippines – Various artists and their supporters have called on the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to reconsider its decision of closing down the controversial “Kulo” exhibit, saying this is a form of government censorship of the arts.

In a press conference, the artists said the industry will launch protest actions if the CCP fails to do so. The Kulo, which includes an installation by artist Mideo Cruz, should have run until August 21.

The panel included National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, educator and musician Eric Cabrera, UP Professor Nicanor Tiongson and Karen Flores, who yesterday announced her resignation as the CCP’s Director for Visual Arts Division.

Lumbera called CCP’s decision “disappointing” since the institution surrendered its right as a center for artists.

Tiongson, meanwhile, appealed to the media to support the artists. He said any infringement on the rights of artists is also an infringement on the rights of the media since the issue is about censorship and freedom of expression.

There was also a heated argument during the press conference when actor Pen Medina raised the possibility of a compromise. He asked if it was possible for Cruz’s installation to be taken down so the rest of the exhibit can push through.

He said the CCP is not only owned by artists, but Filipino taxpayers as well, many of whom consider the work as blasphemous.

In response, panelists said that the discussion on the matter is already moot since the CCP already closed down the exhibit.

Palayain ang Sining spokesperson Iggy Rodriguez, on the other hand, said negotiations are ongoing with other private institutions where the exhibit can re-open. – by Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News

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