Wednesday, July 2, 2008

No Religious Art

A friend with whom I have collaborated on some art projects before is going to be having a show at a Washington, DC gallery, and was told that the works we collaborated on could not be shown as "religion" is not permitted in the show. When he informed me of this I responded as follows:

"I am not surprised that work with religious themes is being banned by these facists. I was asked (twice) to participate in shows down here, but there was a similar ban, so I boycotted them. So much for "open minded" people. And there is usually no rhyme nor reason for such censorship. I could see, if you were doing a show in the West Bank or something why there might be certain stipulations like these, but to encounter this in the USA (and especially in DC), where churches, and synagogues, mosques, etc. are on every corner, and an established part of everyday life, is really quite strange. Such bans actually display a great deal of cultural ignorance and stupidity, especially when they come from institutions that are seeking to be "relevant". Religion has formed our culture, continues to do so, and will always do so for millions of people from all walks of life. By attempting to take religion out of the public square in this and similar ways, these institutions show themselves to be special interest cliques that are completely out of touch with average people around the country and world."


Kay-Kay said...

I'm really not surprised by these bans. People are trying so desperately to cling to anything other than Christ for direction, fulfillment, and comfort. Engaging in religion means that you must ultimately agree that you are not the center of the universe and that there is concrete truth, and for the most part people, even many self-proclaimed Christians, don't want tie themselves down to that. I guess it just doesn't "feel good" to them, we are living in an overwhelmingly hedonistic culture.

Also, there are those who argue that anyone who would cling to religion is simple minded. I've certainly been accused of being so when explaining my faith. Since art is supposed to elevate the mind as well as the senses, then the facilitators of these shows might feel that work of a religious nature is below their intellectual standard. I know I don't need to tell you that they, of course, would be sadly mistaken.

Ok, that's my two cents.

Robin Maria Pedrero said...

For you or else anyone interested I am on a committee for the Arts Worship Sabbath's exhibition, "Love Works" which will be in downtown Orlando Fl at the City Arts Factory. We welcome religious themes.

J. Gordon Anderson said...

Thanks for the heads up, RMP.

Mary Kay, thanks for your two cents. Good insight. It's funny that their intellectual standard is not even intellectual when it all comes down to it.