August 11, 2002
UP College of Mass Communications
Ang sining daw ay malaswa. THis work is blasphemous, sacrilegious and an offense to Catholics and all Christians. The artist is a terrorist, one with a sick mind and demonic intentions. These are the accusations surrounding Mideo Cruz and his installation “Poleteismo.” And now the doors to the exhibit are closed, while the CCP is embroiled in threats and the prospect of a senate investigation.
The art community has read these developments in the same terms: absurd, terroristic, and threatening to all who practice artistic expression.
Imelda Marcos should not have gained media mileage from “Kulo.” As much as threats and the possibility of more violence are a factor, the sector of artists and cultural workers should have been consulted first in an orderly forum.
That forum happened here in UP yesterday, August 10. Unfortunately, the CCP Bpard stated its decision on August 09. On the same date, i submitted my resignation to CCP President Raul M. Sunico.
I have resigned from the Cultural Center of the Philippines to carry on the commitment to uphold artists’ rights, especially the right to free expression through the continuous production, development and study of art. I have simply exercised my right to agree to disagree.
My responsibility in all that has transpired through the “Kulo” exhibit is clear to me. My responsibility as an artist is just as clear and continuous to expand with the learning derived from this experience.
Responsibility is required of everyone involved and looking into this matter. Let media reflect the truth in whole and not in parts; be helpful in promoting an informed and critical deliberation of this issue in public. Please do not resort to sensationalism and careless bits and bites.
Let religion, whatever it may be, be there to nourish our higher selves, our spirits; let it be helpful in nurturing and shaping our conscience, and let it teach the basic need for tolerance amidst our differences. Religions should not lead us to hatred and conflict.
I call on all artists and cultural workers, our students, our educators to unite and continue to support the CCP; we must bring our stand and our recommendations to its constant attention.
Problems are harsh. Insults and suspicion have bogged us down. But we must continue to identify our learning points from these raging issues. From this chaos we shall create the opportunities to express the call change and transformation.
The call is still for freedom of expression.