With the controversial music video titled “The Father Project”, made as the official anthem for Oslo Pride 2015, Tooji hoped to kickstart a debate about the equality of homosexual people in the eyes of religion. And he sure succeeded.
After the video, showing simulated love scene between Tooji and a male priest in a church, was released on June 8th, it quickly caused media frenzy and provoked strong positive and negative reactions in Norway – a progressive Scandinavian country.
In a statement the bishop of Oslo condemned the video as a desecration, stating: “Footage of intimate scenes in front of the altar is never acceptable, no matter what the video’s message might be or who the artist might be. It is an abuse of the church, and a misuse of its holy room.”
But the Church of Norway is not united in the heated discussion that has occupied the Norwegian media for days and has spread on the internet.
Gyrid Gunnes, priest, scientist and artist, compared the importance of Tooji’s video to that of the Pussy Riot’s performance in Moscow 2012.
“In Tooji’s video, homosexual love takes over the actual symbol of the church, its room, and shows us what is not possible to see within the frame of the church’s heterosexual understanding of marriage. The community is smiling and watching an explicit erotic scene, as friendly as the community witnessing church’s own ritual for the explicit erotica between heterosexuals, namely the religious ritual of wedding,” she wrote in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.
“The Father Project” has also received the attention of the international media, The Huffington Post, among others.
(reference: The Huffington Post)