|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, October 26, 2016
|Art Community Around the World Rally to Aid China's Best-Known Contemporary Artist |
A red traffic light frames workers putting up a two-story-high black-and-white photograph of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei outside the Lisson Gallery in London, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has vanished. But look around, and he seems to be everywhere. More than a month after one of China's best-known contemporary artist was arrested while trying to board a flight to Hong Kong, his name, his face and his art have been popped up across the globe. China's communist rulers have steadfastly refused to say where Ai is or who's holding him. His colleagues in the international art world say they want to make sure he doesn't disappear from view. AP Photo/Matt Dunham.
By: Raphael G. Satter, Associated Press
LONDON (AP).- Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has vanished. But look around, and he seems to be everywhere.
More than a month after one of China's best-known contemporary artist was arrested while trying to board a flight to Hong Kong, his name, his face and his art have popped up across the globe. China's communist rulers have steadfastly refused to say where Ai is or who's holding him, but his colleagues in the international art world say they want to make sure he isn't wiped off the face of the earth.
"As long as he's incarcerated, artists and cultural figures will be asking what we can do," British writer Ekow Eshun, a former director of the country's Institute for Contemporary Arts, said Wednesday.
In London, Ai Weiwei's name has appeared at the top of the Tate Modern, one of the U.K.'s most-visited museums. In Paris, a gigantic inflatable plastic amoeba called "Leviathan" has been dedicated to the arrested artist, while academics in Germany have made him a visiting lecturer at Berlin University and awarded him honorary membership of the city's academy of the arts.
Across the Atlantic, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has praised Ai's courage, while in Hong Kong his portrait has appeared around the city's military garrison.
Many of the events like two exhibits opening in London and another at Berlin's neugerreimschneider gallery were planned in advance of Ai's arrest. But they've since been turned in to de facto demonstrations of solidarity with the 53-year-old artist, whose work has often ridiculed the ideology of China's one-party state.
"Where is Ai Weiwei?" asked a stark, two-story-tall banner mounted across the German gallery's yellow-brick facade last month. The Tate, which recently filled its flagship Turbine Hall with millions of the artist's tiny porcelain sunflower seeds, placed the words "Release Ai Weiwei" on the side of its glass roof structure.
The two exhibits of the artist's work in London include one in the capital's Somerset House, a high-profile venue which hosts the biannual London Fashion Week. The other, at west London's Lisson Gallery, features a two-story-high black-and-white photograph of the artist staring out from its facade.
In Paris on Monday, British sculptor Anish Kapoor dedicated his latest monumental work to the Chinese artist even though he'd never met him.
"He's a colleague, an artist," Kapoor told the Guardian newspaper. "In a very simple way, he is heroically recording human existence."
That spirit of solidarity has been at work in Germany too: Ai was named an honorary member of Berlin's Academy of Arts over the weekend, something the academy described as a sign of his international importance.
In New York, Bloomberg joined the city's art community in honoring Ai at Manhattan's Pulitzer Fountain last week, telling the assembled audience that his fearlessness in the face of official intimidation spoke to "the indomitable desire for freedom that is inside every human being."
In China, where Ai is thought to be held secretly by state security, activists have also raised their voices. In Hong Kong, which has its own separate legal system, stencils of his likeness have been sprayed around and even laser-projected onto the local army garrison building.
Despite the growing outcry, China has refused to answer question about the artist's fate.
"This case remains under investigation and those outside people should refrain from comment," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Tuesday. China's authoritarian government regularly acts to crush dissent, but the Ai's disappearance has been seen as part of a more far-reaching crackdown that followed the wake of the popular uprisings which have been sweeping the Middle East.
Hundreds of lawyers, activists, and other intellectuals have been questioned, detained, confined to their homes or simply disappeared, apparently to squelch any chance of a popular rising.
Gwyn Miles, the director of the Somerset House Trust, said that while Ai could be a provocative artist, Beijing's decision to silence him was a sign of that officials there were feeling insecure.
"It seems to me that a strong government could take provocation," she said.
Christopher Bodeen in Beijing and Melissa Eddy in Berlin contributed to this story.
Raphael G. Satter can be reached at: http://twitter.com/razhael
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
May 12, 2011
Andy Warhol's First and Last Self-Portraits Fetch a Combined $66 Million at Christie's
The Prado Museum Announces Presentation of Its Collection in Australia
Digital Images of Yale's Vast Cultural Collections Now Available for Free to Individuals
Leopold Museum Announces Favorable Conclusion Over Egon Schiele Painting Dispute
Police Arrest Man after Theft from Heavily Guarded Forbidden City in Beijing
Previously Unseen Photographs of the Fab Four Brought to the San Francisco Art Exchange
Exceptional Complete Portfolio of Mao by Andy Warhol Offered on artnet Auctions
Collection of Vintage New England Movie Theater Photos for Sale at Philip Weiss Auction
Sotheby's: Record Set for a London Sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
The Contemporary Jewish Museum Presents Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories
Lyons Wier Gallery Presents Mary Henderson's Newest Group of Hyper-Real Paintings
Top Prices Paid Once Again for Works of Art by Japanese Artist Shibata Zeshin at Bonhams
Mexican Artist Hands Over Aztatlan Archaeological Pieces to Mexican Government
Art Community Around the World Rally to Aid China's Best-Known Contemporary Artist
Meadows Museum Acquires Rare Masterwork by Spanish Court Painter Vicente López
Sotheby's Announces Details of Impressionist & Modern Art Sale to Be Held in Paris
LACMA Presents Twenty-Four Hour Screening of Newly Acquired Artwork
Sotheby's London to Offer The Bordeaux Winebank Collection Part III
New York Daily News Cartoonist Bill Gallo Dies
From Street Singer to Mistress of David Garrick, Bonhams Offers Portrait if Dublin Actress Peg Woffington
The Heckscher Museum of Art Presents Edward Weston: Life Work
Rafael Viñoly Architects Announces Completion of Translational Research Center at Penn
Bank of America Art Conservation Project To Restore Global Cultural Treasures in 2011
Faggionato Fine Art Presents 'Lingua Franca', Exhibition of New Works by Tarka Kings
Sotheby's Announces Auction in Aid of the Serpentine Gallery's New Space in Kensington Gardens
Sotheby's Zurich Celebrates The Muses of Swiss Art in Sale to Be Held on May 30
Important American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture Offered at Sotheby's New York
Benson Masterwork to Lead Christie's Sale of Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture
Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Announce Collaborative Agreement for Breuer Building
Art Stolen from Beijing's Forbidden City, Thieves Take Nine Objects from Exhibition
New York City's MoMA to Buy Museum of Folk Art Next Door
World Record Breaking $6.077+ Million Comics Sale at Heritage Auctions
Changes in Vegetation Determine How Animals Migrate, Scientists at the Smithsonian's National Zoo Find
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- New light shines on Sandro Botticelli masterpieces at Florence's Uffizi Gallery
2.- Cincinnati Art Museum's Van Gogh exhibition brings guests Into the Undergrowth
3.- Degas retrospective debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
4.- Special exhibition features large-scale photography by Richard Mosse & Edward Burtynsky
5.- Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door
6.- An unprecedented, international-loan exhibition of works by Claude Monet is at the Kimbell Art Museum this fall
7.- Exhibition at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek explores Rousseau's landscapes
8.- Yoko Ono unveils her first permanent US art installation
9.- ArtReview's annual Power 100 names Hans Ulrich Obrist as the artworld's most powerful figure
10.- British artist David Hockney makes a splash at Frankfurt fair with 2,000-euro book
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.