Tacoma Art Museum plans to exhibit a controversial show, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” (TNT, 5-26). A part of this display includes a video, “Fire in my Belly,” which shows images of ants crawling across a plastic crucifix.
While I have not actually seen the film myself, from the mere description of its content it seems that the work disrespects the crucifix, which is a sacred item to Roman Catholics.
Even though the article mentioned that this was an issue of free speech, it is actually not. Few would argue that the museum does not have the right to display the video. Indeed, it certainly does have that right. This is a matter of respect, not “free speech.”
Society should never condone the defilement or mockery of religious artifacts, especially those as steeped in tradition and history as the crucifix. Thus, this particular video should be removed from the exhibit out of respect for believers.