Thursday, August 11, 2011


CCP's Visual Arts head resigns
By Angelo L. Gutierrez
The Philippine Star Updated August 10, 2011 04:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The head of the Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) Museum and Visual Arts division has resigned.

The CCP's Public Relations and Linkages Division confirmed that Visual Arts director Karen Flores has submitted her resignation letter.

"She submitted a letter of resignation. That is what we know," Michelle Logarta, writer at the public relations division, told in an interview.

Logarta said that they aware when Flores submitted her resignation.

An earlier report by ABS-CBN News Channel said Flores announced her resignation during a forum at the University of the Philippines.

Virgie Ramoso, in charge of administration works in the division, told that they were not aware of Flores's reported resignation.

"Nagpunta sa forum sa UP, wala namang sinabi," Ramoso said.

Flores's resignation came a day after the CCP decided to shut down its Main Gallery where the controversial "Kulo" Exhibit was on display.

"Due to numerous emails, text messages and other letters sent to various officers of the CCP, and to the artists themselves, with an increasing number of threats to persons and property, the members of the Board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines have decided to close down the Main Gallery where the Kulo Exhibit is on display. This decision was made amidst controversy and deliberation by the Board as to what steps are necessary to avoid future similar incidents," the CCP said in a statement yesterday.

The CCP management said that it is already reviewing its policies and is now "taking steps to enable its officers and staff to make more informed decisions in the future."

"The CCP shall continue to act as catalyst for free expression of Filipino artists. It thanks all those who have, in one way or another, contributed to the dialogue about art, and the different ways it affects society today," the CCP said.

The decision to shut down the exhibit, which includes the work of artist Mideo Cruz, drew flak from artists.

The exhibit's curator, Jaime Pacena II, said in a statement issued today that the closure of the exhibit will set a bad precedent. He added that the decision was a form of curtailment of freedom of expression.

"The latest pronouncement of the CCP Board sets a bad precedent. Our rights to freely express ourselves were curtailed," Pacena said.

He added: "It is upsetting that the Cultural Center of the Philippines Board of Directors succumbed to the pressure by permanently closing the exhibit. Moreover, the manner by which various opinions were discussed, presented and circulated was frustrating if not disheartening."

The art exhibit, which is a compilation of 32 artists, opened on June 17 and was supposed to run up to August 21.

Bad publicity on the art exhibit spread after a television network covered it and focused on Cruz's art work "Politeismo."

The CCP said that before the art exhibit caught the eye of the Catholic bishops, it has been displayed in other venues in 2002 including the Ateneo de Manila, UP Vargas Museum and Kulay Diwa galleries.

The Catholic bishops and several religious groups have threatened to file charges against the CCP for permitting the display of Mideo's pieces, which they branded as "blasphemous and sacrilegious."

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