Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"If you approve the "Kulo" exhibit, please replace your nose with a penis in your profile pic."

@jppgalang posted this challenge on his Twitter account.

I wouldn't mind biting the bait. It's as easy as grafting the stiff cock of Matt Hughes, my favorite porn actor  and then attaching it to my face. I'm sure my partner won't care. The people who follow my twitter account might even find it hilarious.

The problem with Mideo Cruz's exhibit is that it caught the nation's attention for the wrong reasons. First, the religious and secular divide is already big. With the bishops losing their credibility after the SUV scandal, and families turning against one another because of the Reproductive Health Bill, the Kulo installation provided more ammunition for the opposite sides to hit each another.

guess how big  his equipment is

trust me, it's bigger than this.

I read somewhere that the art exhibit was unheard of until someone trashed the gallery last month. The liberals in turn howled in chorus while their freedom of expression is being torched by the righteous. But before you agree, let's not forget, the fanatic who stormed the Cultural Center of the Philippines was also practising his right to express his opinion.

You may call it performance art minus the applause.

The ruckus over the exhibit is quite ironic. The twisted creation has been a mainstay of small galleries for  years. No untoward incident ever occurred and while the artist didn't get praises for his work, he was free to indulge his perversities. It's true, the Christ image is shocking, even sacrilegious. But it won't make me desecrate the halls of CCP and demand the balls of the artist shoved in his mouth.

My dirty, dirty mind can spawn better ideas to shock the flock.

Kulo is a work of a person in need of love, or at least mind-blowing sex with hung guys who love to bareback. Mideo Cruz loves cocks, and that's how I see his controversial work. Humor aside, I think his life is in tatters and despite providing various interpretations for his work, nothing will change his perception. For the artist, his creations are subliminal work no matter how the audience loves to piss at them.

It's like talking to a Bible-thumper about the merits of other faiths.

The furor over Cruz's work raises questions to the limits of  freedom of expression. Does art need to be censored when the public finds it distasteful? If Mideo Cruz's works are taken down because of public pressure, what will be its implications to other artists?

Does art need to conform with morality?

The controversy has become a matter of national interest that the Senate even launched its own investigation.  We all know that the circus is meant for the media. Meanwhile, the social fabric see-saws with a broken fulcrum, and it would have been better if we avoid these distractions. Population growth, job creation and food security should be our immediate concern.

As for me, while the Poleteismo exhibit hardly offends my sensibilities, (I even find some of his works grotesquely enamoring) I side with those whose sacred beliefs are violated. Mideo Cruz deserves to be ostracized.

Let him have sleepless nights.

There are limits to expression - including art - and the Christ image with a penis ashtray for a nose has already crossed the line.  


Mr. Brightside said...

One can still maintain the integrity of his style and send the desired message accross without crossing the line. I appreciate the message Mideo Cruz wanted to convey but his means did cross the line.

Leo said...

I'd never get a chance to ponder on the recalcitrant minds of some that rationalizes Mideo's artwork. Albeit I try, I doubt that I won't still comprehend their arguments about self-expression and stuff. I have strong faith in my religion and what he did, was really uncalled for.

bien said...

He indeed crossed the line. His works should have remained in smaller galleries where he, his friends, some academic scholars, art enthusiast and art critics can debate on its merits. Maybe just maybe something good would have come out of it.Definitely done in bad taste.

Ostracize him? But we are a forgiving bunch and how easily we forget!

Haynaku just make a movie and call it Patayin sa shokot si Mideo Cruz

bien said...

and lol@matt hughes, sya pala yun. The Milkman!!!

the green breaker said...

The rights to freedom of expression in our country are absolute. However, just as the film and TV industries are scanned by the prying eyes of the MTRCB, all forms of art must also get x-rayed by a specific governmental body just so people know where to go for which, and avoid seeing themselves on the wrong setting. But as I write this, I realize that it's impossible to know which art is taboo to who.

The only thing then that I can interject is with power comes responsibility which brings us back to Spiderman. Our freedom may be close to limitless, but we should learn how to be appropriate, proper.

lonewolf said...

His works are really offensive and he looks crazy talaga

Mugen said...


May kilala akong mas malupit pa sa kanya. Hehehe.

Green Breaker:

When there are no checks and balances, we're heading towards pandemonium. Parang katulad na lang nito.


A week of sleepless night should be enough. Mapagpatawad rin ako eh. Hehehe.

Happiness si Matt Hughes no. Pero mas matindi yan bumarena kapag chicks ang kinakabayo niya.

Mugen said...


Too much self expression may lead you into trouble.

He already apologized. At least.

Mr. Brightside:

Agree. The message may be plausible, but the execution is not.

RainDarwin said...

Agree. Interlinking artistry and divinity is a whole lot more fascinating but if the image of Jesus Christ is the subject, and has turned HIS image to disgraceful then the offender should be put in jail. Case closed.

Aldrin said...

I think art, sometimes, is intended to cross the line. I may not appreciate his art; I may even find it offensive, but I will defend his right to express his opinions, no matter how offensive they are to my own sensibilities.

I agree that the Senate is wasting money having a hearing about blasphemy. It is of no concern to our secular state. Mideo broke no laws.

Also, I am thankful I am not in Iran where people are not allowed to be offensive.

claudiopoi said...

with all due respect to you sir mugen, i agree with the previous comment posted here.

those were the brave words of voltaire, and i think it is the most apt banner for the freedom of expression --

for truly, why must it be used in ideas that are already accepted by society? it is best tested in views that are unorthodox, unconventional, and even offensive.


Mugen said...


A society striving for harmony will have to limit the rights of its people. Or else there will be disorder. Much as he is free to express what he wants, so as the people who finds his work offensive.

And yes, the senate should have not wasted its time grilling the CCP.


Voltaire is a philosopher worth studying and his writings have contributed greatly to our civilization.

I don't mind Mideo posting his works in a private exhibition, he is free to do whatever he wants. But to place it in a hall paid for by taxpayers who he had insulted, that's a different issue altogether.

Papa Pilyo:

Your suggestion is more extreme. It's like forcing those poor women have their fallopian tube cut.

RainDarwin said...

weh! mas extreme yan papa joms! parang sa lalaki na tatanggalin ang bayag hahaha.

see u tom! mwahhhhh.

Mugen said...

Papa Pilyo:

Diba sa Saturday pa ang nomonomo? Hehe.

mikel said...

i don't find his installations visually appealing. but i give him credit for the discussions generated on many issues.

Aldrin said...

I humbly disagree. As long as other human rights are not violated, freedom of expression should not be compromised. It is crucial to any working democracy. Harmony is achieved when all rights are respected, not when they are limited.

We can certainly be offended, of course; it is a human right. It certainly falls under freedom of expression. But censorship and freedom from offence are the tools of tyrants.

Freedom is only curtailed when it incites violence against other human beings. Blasphemy is not universal and certainly not lethal.

Mugen said...


We have no disagreements my friend. He crossed the line, yes, but I would side with him and the artists who supported him if censorship is imposed on art. He is I think an isolated case. Sensibilities were offended and he had to take responsibility for his actions.


Sadly, it was mostly a debate between the fundamental bigots and the anarchists.

Tangerine said...

Hearing the news at first, I was enraged at the fact that the senate has entered the picture to intervene this ruckus that was Poleteismo. There are more pressing issues to put everyone's attention to, like the implementation of the RH Bill, etc. etc.

However, I agree that he has crossed the line. Period. I say if he wanted to make a statement he need not desecrate religious imagery right? But to censor artists freedom of expression is ridiculous. With this responsibility and privilege, one should not abuse it right?

Btw, I don't know how I landed in your blog. :S