The Things i've learned from Mideo Cruz's Artwork


 This is an artwork of Mideo Cruz entitled  "Poleteismo"   are priority is indeed a very controversial one and Received a lot of criticism. Mideo Cruz was a former student of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) who is not new to the art scene at all and is well known internationally as well, having opened exhibits in Switzerland, Italy and the United States. He also Received the Ateneo Art Awards in 2007 and awarded the CCP 13 artists awards in 2003. He is known as a performance artist acting out pieces dealing with political issues like the interference of the United States on global affairs; human rights; and militarization. He is also a founding member of the artist group Root-Race. Root-Race is credited for the effigies and then burned Presented During rallies led by the New Alliance Makabayan (BAYAN). His response from one of the people who asked him about His work (Poletismo) was 

"This is how I see the Filipino way of life - colorful, varied, full of conflicting beliefs and values. Can not you just see these same images pasted on the walls of houses in the urban poor communities? And Filipino society, its racked with economic and political turmoil, and then there's religion are priority Frequently involves itself in the entire conglomeration of issues and developments ".

There are different kinds of interpretations from different people and I am sure that they are all subjective. Ie they depend on the standards. Just like an article in  Bulatlat.com  entitled  " Artist Mideo Cruz wants to provoke critical thought, gets death threats instead "    the writer said

"There's the carton poster on the alphabet with" A "standing for" Apple "When apples are not grown in the Philippines and" J "is for Jeep and not for" jeepney. "There's the calendar where former First Lady Imelda Marcos smiles beatifically and her beholder.Then there are the liquor bottles that used to Contain expensive alcohol that could very well symbolize the corruption of the country Because of the profligacy of its so-called leaders in government. " 

Another author from  http://drippingmind.wordpress.com/  wrote an article entitled " A gander at Poleteismo (Mideo Cruz / Bubble Art Exhibit) "   and he said  "This first came to my mind is about to beset the eskandalong clergy on the other side of the world in relation to allegations of child abuse / sexual abuses and the alleged cover-up by the Vatican also told several decades occurs.

The masterpiece was my interpretation of Mideo Cruz is hardly ipinapamukha of the work that the Church itself nagdedesecrate the divinity of the Lord. Like saying that the abuses of the clergy in children hurting themselves in the divinity of Jesus and the teachings of the Church, and the work of the Saints their lord Jesus offering with blessing from the Vatican (it My interpretation dun the presence of a phallus on the face of the image of Jesus) ".

I was one of those people who were intrigued by this controversial issue thats why i tried reading some articles online. Afterwards, I asked myself, "What did I learn here?" They are here:

I. I Learned that an artwork can be considered an art if it affects emotions.

After reading comments and articles from different people and websites, I saw that many of them were offended and said that what Mideo Cruz did was not an art. However, some of them said that it was an art. In my curiousity, I decided to find out what's the definition of art. 

The definition of art says " Art  is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (Often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and  affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect . It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, and even disciplines Such as history and psychology analyze its relationship with HUMANS and generations. "

I Learned that its inappropriate to say that an artwork is not an art if it offends or if it conveys negative feedback. An art can make people happy. An art can make people sad. All artwork that affects our emotion can be considered an art. 

II. I Learned that No law can be passed abridging the freedom of expression 

In the heat of the controversy, I always hear the term "Freedom of expression" and so I decided to check our constitution about it. 

"THE 1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES ARTICLE III BILL OF RIGHTS Section 4 . 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 " 

Interesting right? Abridging Means to diminish or lessen or change. I Learned that I have a right of freedom to express what I know and what I feel and no law can abridge it. 

III. I Learned that in our freedom Should we not consider others 

As I was pondering about the issue, it seems to me that my freedom can lead me to do good things or to do evil things. Moral or immoral. Encouraging or Discouraging. I remember what word of God said in  1Corinthians 10:23-24

"23" Everything is permissible "-but not everything is beneficial." Everything is permissible "-but not everything is constructive.24Nobody Should seek His own good, but the good of others"

I Learned that I have to be responsible for my freedom. I have to make sure that I am not offending anyone in anyway. If I did then my freedom Should not be an excuse to have pride but a power to ask for forgiveness.  WIth all great power of freedom that I got, the greater consideration for others i should have.

IV. I Learned that art can be used for the purpose of political change or social inquiry. 

I had a subject Called Art Appreciation before when i was studying at the University Father. The lessons were really interesting but I guess I just did not appreciate it. Those were the days that I must say I really regret not giving much attention to. To my surprise, I realized that I was reading wikipedia about arts for two days already. I found out that art has two functions or purposes. the  Non-motivated functions of art and  motivated functions of art.

 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art # Purpose_of_art )

Non-motivated functions of art 
  • Basic human instinct for harmony, balance, rhythm
  • Experience of the mysterious
  • Expression of the imagination
  • Universal communication
  • Ritualistic and symbolic functions

Motivated Functions of Art
  • Communication
  • Art as entertainment
  • The Avante-Garde. Art for political change  -
One of the defining functions of early twentieth century art has been to use visual images to bring about political change. Art movements that had this goal-Dadaism, Surrealism, Russian Constructivism, and Abstract expressionism, our others-are collectively Referred to as the  avante-garde  arts.
"By contrast, the realistic attitude, inspired by positivism, from Saint Thomas Aquinas to Anatole France, clearly seems to me to be hostile to any intellectual or moral advancement. I loathe it, for it is made up of mediocrity, hate, and dull conceit. It is this attitude are priority today GIVES birth to these ridiculous books, these insulting plays. It Constantly feeds on and derives strength from the newspapers and stultifies both science and art by assiduously flattering the lowest of tastes; clarity bordering on stupidity, a dog's life. " -André Breton (Surrealism
  • Art for psychological and healing purposes
  • Art for social inquiry, subversion and / or anarchy 
While similar to art for political change, subversive or deconstructivist art there seek to question Aspects of society without any specific political goal. In this case, the function of art has be simply to criticize some aspect of society.
  • <em> Art for propaganda, or commercialism </ em>
I Learned that art can be used to send a message to criticize some aspect of society are priority Includes the religious sector. I was reminded what our National Hero Dr.. Jose Rizal said in His literature Noli me tangere page 72 its says  "now let's see how the Idea of Purgatory, are priority is absent from both the Old and the New testament, became Catholic Doctrine."   He was trying to send a message of truth to They so the people can be set free.

I also learned literature as an art that can be used to send a message for political change. Mark in days, which i heard from my grandpa, was a time When people can not and were afraid to express what They want to Because it will cost them THEIR lives. However, in those times many artists who can not keep on hiding what They want to say and express found ways to do it. One of them was Joseph Lacaba in His Poem Prometheus Unbound.

Prometheus Unbound

I shall never exchange my fetters for slavish servility. '
Tis better to be chained to the rock than be bound to the service of Zeus.

- Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

M ars shall glow tonight,
A rtemis is out of sight.
R ust in the twilight sky
C olors a bloodshot eye,
Or shall I say that r dust
S unders the sleep of the just?

H old fast to the gift of fire!
am rage! I am Wrath! I am ire!
T he vulture sits on my rock,
L icks and the chains that mock
E mancipation's breath,
R Eeks of death, death, death.

D eath shall not unclench me.
I  am earth, wind, and sea!
K isses bestow on the brave
T hat defy the damp of the grave
A nd strike the chill hand of
D eath with the flaming sword of love.
O rion stirs. The vulture
R etreats from the hard, pure

T hrust of the spark that burns,
U nbounds, departs, returns
T or pluck out of death's fist
A  god who dared to resist.

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