The Mideo controversy, I must admit, is a bit stale already. But I could not help from blogging about the subject for the seeming confusion it generated on everyone. From what I’ve read, the controversy appears to deal with issues on freedom of expression, artistic right, right of religion, decency, respect, etc. Each side of the argument also seems to carry some weight.
It is true, that if Mideo is honestly pursuing art, then in that sense, artistic freedom is the issue. He was out to provoke critical thinking and got it. Unfortunately, only Mideo himself knows exactly his real motives behind his artistic works. On the other hand, those who are offended by his works felt they’ve been disrespected, maligned, abused, etc. The latter do not see freedom of expression at work but a malicious hurling of insults to one’s belief. To this side of the spectrum, Mideo’s art is simply an immoral act.
Where do we draw the line between freedom of expression (artistic integrity) and morality (respect to others’ religious beliefs)? At what point do we not get offended morally by any piece of art?
Personally, I feel that no one is really interested in drawing the demarcations in these areas. Each side is more interested in venting its views and thoughts than finding out what truly makes sense. I guess this is the time where emotions rule. Today, we are interested in only one thing – expressing what we feel is right in our own eyes.
Looking at all this at a distance, I can only see clear confusion. We simply could not make up our minds what is the correct view or opinion over the matter. Others tried to strike a balanced view but end up, in my opinion, short. The “balanced” view appears weak and indecisive.
And yet, here’s the clincher. Does God even care about this whole thing?
Note: For those who are confused who is Mideo, he is Mideo Cruz, a Filipino artist whose work of art includes, among other things, a picture of Christ with a phallus as a nose. His recent art exhibit in the Philippines provoked an outcry from all over the country.