Saturday, December 10, 2011

Art Provokes Thought

Yes, the play Golgota Picnic, now at the Théâtre du Rond-Point, production Centro Dramático Nacional Madrid, production déléguée Théâtre Garonne Toulouse, coproduction Festival d’Automne à Paris, and which has already been performed in Spain, Toulouse, Graz, and is coming to Hamburg in January, has been "greeted" everywhere by the protests of those so unfirm in their fundamentalist religious "beliefs" that they very christianly and catholically have NOT seen it and condemn all those who do to a hell of their own fantasies and demand its prohibition as "blasphemous" (hello Sharia!) and is confronted in Paris (City of Lights, former center of the Enlightenment) with violent actions to disrupt the performances, with pious ultra-rightists, royalists, and Pius Brothers at the fore and a dangerous coalition with populists neo-nazis and fascists.
Can art be so dangerous? Can a play in a theater cause so much havoc? Remember the idiotic protests against the film The Exorcist in fundamentalist Baptist strongholds in the States, but also in rabid Catholic neighborhoods in the Northeast? Blasphemy is in the eye of the beholder, and is NOT a legal term. Freedom of expression is NOT limited by the beliefs of others; quite the contrary, freedom to believe is no longer possible if all opinions cannot be expressed. There is also a freedom NOT to believe, by the way. Moreover, true belief could never be endangered by satire or diatribes against it.
In any case, it is time to support the performances of this play wherever they may be and to condemn vehemently those who would attempt to deprive you of your right to decide on your own whether to watch it or not.
Praise is due again to Charlie Hebdo for satirizing in its latest issue the fundamentalists at work in Paris; the "blasphemous" caricatures are a refreshing breath of fresh air!
And here, to shock, please, irritate, interest, or baffle you, a video trailer of Golgota Picnic:

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