War on Creativity
“Art has always been a field where people can express
themselves to the extent of whatever they want. Sometimes
people like to take what freedom they have and maybe bring
their creativity to an edge that may be offensive to some
people. Though most would defend a persons right to express
themselves to death , others would not be as pleased with the
blatant abuse of it. Artistic right , however we should be able to
use it sensibly”.
- Peter Young
There have been a number of religious controversies based
around the teaching of science, certain religion practices and in
the depiction of religion or religious figures in culture through art.
We will focus on Controversies caused because of visual art forms.
Piss Christ is a 1987 photograph by the
American artist and photographer
It depicts a small plastic crucifix
submerged in a glass of the artist's urine.
It hurt the sentiments of people
forcing the closure of the exhibition in
Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria.
Serrano received death threats and
hate mail, and lost grants due to the
This painting was displayed in the
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA
On a yellow-orange background, the painting
depicts a black woman wearing a blue robe, a
traditional attribute of the Virgin Mary.
The work employs mixed media, including
oil paint, glitter, and polyester resin, and
also elephant dung and collaged pornographic
The central Black Madonna is surrounded
by many collaged images that resemble
butterflies at first sight, but on closer
inspection are photographs of female genitalia.
It caused a great deal of controversy
for using elephant dung and pornographic
images in a picture of the Virgin Mary.
It rallied christian groups to protest
against the Brooklyn museum for
showing the work.
Virgin in a Condom is a controversial
sculpture created by Tania Kovat in 1994.
It was stolen from the Museum of
Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia
within days of being exhibited.
It attracted Christian protesters when it
was on display in 1998 at the Museum of
New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.[
In a parody of Leonardo di Vinci’s Last Supper, Renee Cox has created a photo
montage featuring eleven black men and one white man as the twelve
disciples and Cox herself as Jesus Christ. A lady, naked Jesus Christ.
Such an image would naturally offend some members of the Christian faith.
However, there’s nothing directly obscene about the image; her nudity isn’t
erotic in anyway and the photographs contain no blasphemous imagery.
Some argue that recreating the classic painting in such a way is a mockery
both to the piece and religion that holds it dear. However, other parodies
of the image exist in the retail market which feature celebrities like Elvis in
place of Jesus.
Ecce Homo is a controversial exhibition of 12 photographs of different
biblical situations, in modern surroundings, taken by the Swedish
photographer Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin.
The photos recreated classical Christian motifs, but substituted the persons
or the surrounding context with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-related
issues and persons.
An example of context
substitution is the recreation of
the motif of Mary holding Jesus
(the Pietà motif), with the
surrounding context being that
of a medical facility, with Jesus
dying from AIDS.
"Innocence of Muslims" is the title attributed
to an anti-Islamic movie trailer. The 14 minute video
clips were initially uploaded to YouTube in July 2012,
under the titles The Real Life of Muhammad and Muhammad
Movie Trailer. Videos dubbed in the Arabic language
were uploaded during early September 2012. Anti-Islamic
content had been added in post production by dubbing,
without the actors' knowledge.
The trailer starts with a scene portraying the reportedly increasing persecution of
Copts and poor human rights in present day Egypt, with rise in church-burnings and
growing religious intolerance that has been seen against the 10% population of Egypt
that are Copts, and complaints that authorities have failed to protect this population.
What was perceived as denigrating of the prophet
Muhammad caused demonstrations and violent protests
against the film to break out on September 11 in Egypt
and spread to other Arab and Muslim nations, and also to
some western countries.
The protests have led to hundreds of injuries and over 75 deaths. Fatwas have been
issued against the video's participants.
The film has sparked debates about freedom of speech and internet censorship.
Maqbool Fida Husain, popularly known as M F Hussein, was one of the most
popular Indian Artists who got noticed more because of his nude paintings of
He attracted a lot of controversy and wrath after painting the nude images of Hindu
Deities, especially from the Shiv Sena and Hindus. He was accused of hurting the
sentiments of those who belong to Hindu Religion.
Another popular controversy was the
Painting of Nude Bharat Mata which
hurt the sentiments of majority of Indians.
"Naked Bharatmata - Hussain has shown
naked woman with names of states written
on different parts of her body. He has used
Ashok Chakra, Tri-colour in the painting.
This Painting was opposed by Organizations
like Vishva Hindu Parishad and Hindu
Jagruti Samiti .
The Extent to which our freedom goes, is never questioned until it imposes
on the rights of others. In art people should be allowed to express themselves
to whatever limits their minds can manage.
Even if it offends people or disgusts them, art is a thing that everyone can take
pleasure in. It doesn’t matter if you wish to depict nudity, religion, animal dung or
Whether its creating a world of you always dreamed of or expressing whatever
desires your mind has there should never be anything holding anyone back.