MANILA, Philippines - A man and a woman defaced a controversial exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) on Thursday, in an apparent attack against the artworks’ contents.
In an interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, artist Mideo Cruz said vandals wrote words on his pieces in Poleteismo. His works, part of the Kulo exhibit, sparked a controversy and elicited protests especially with some Catholic groups.
Several of the works include a crucifix with a wooden penis as well as a Christ the King figurine with rabbit ears. Various groups are mulling filing charges against the artist and the CCP for what they said was a “sacrilegious and blasphemous” exhibit.
“They wrote na ‘bakla’ ako, na ‘sumpain’ ako…They damaged the phallic symbols,” he said.
The CCP is now investigating the matter, but has not closed down the exhibit.
In a statement posted in its Facebook account, the CCP Visual Artists division said a “man and a woman” walked in the main gallery and started to vandalize the artworks at around 11:30 a.m. today.
“CCP Security were not able to apprehend the vandals; only an illegible signature was left in the guest book. Our security people are conducting their investigation on this incident now, and we have taken extra measures to guard the gallery against further mishaps,” it said.
“We request the arts and culture community to keep vigilant but let us maintain a dignified stance about this. We will not be equal to the rage and extremism of other entities,” the group added.
It said threats and legal charges are valid reactions, but “we would like to remind anyone else who are considering violent and destructive acts against art, artists and art institutions that such acts are clearly criminal. Let us all be proper, respectful and tolerant despite our different views.”