Wexistential Crises, Wayward Thoughts, Welcome Distractions and Willful Pursuits


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I haven’t seen the art installation myself but I get the picture. A penis on the crucified Christ’s forehead, bunny ears on the Holy Family, etc. I can understand why Catholics are angry. What I don’t understand is why they’re not angry about all the other forms of “blasphemy” around them.

As some friends have pointed out, with the exception of the gallery wall, all the components of the exhibit can be found within a five-block radius of Quiapo Church.

Openly displayed on sidewalks next to religious statues and prayer booklets are sex toys and (pirated) porn DVDs.

Ride any jeepney and you will find a rosary hanging from the rear view mirror, a Sto. Nino on the dashboard, a proliferation of lewd messages, and pin-ups of “bold” stars. Millions of Filipinos see this scene every day and yet not a single devout commuter has complained about the unholy juxtaposition.

Go to a mall on a Sunday and you will see priests celebrating mass at altars framed by billboards featuring sultry, half-naked men and women. The body and blood of Christ is raised during the consecration in front the enormous bulging crotch of a Bench underwear model.

I don’t know what the artist’s intentions were, but if Poleteismo has achieved anything I think it has been to show the great irony of the Filipino Catholic response to “blasphemy.”


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