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Ai Weiwei

    Ai’s outspoken stance regarding freedom of expression and basic human rights for all people has established him as leader in the conversation. It was his involvement in the design of Beijing's Olympic stadium that brought him international prominence.


    Weiwei produced Remembering, a wall of Chinese text made from children's backpacks that covered the facade of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany.


    What can Ai Weiwei teach us to better bear witness to the crooked timber of our time? How can an artist, a work of art, transcend the mundane materiality of human wherewithal?


    The provenance of Ai Weiwei's name and reputation being launched from US and European art and human rights pedestals is a mixed blessing. They deeply care about "the human rights situation" around the world except in Palestine of course, or in Yemen for that matter.


    What can we gather in a gallery in Doha or London or New York where we see people's laundry cleaned, ironed and hanged?  There is something off about Ai Weiwei.


    He does not bring his Chinese experiences as a committed artist to other countries. His aesthetics are mitigated by his European curators. When they are done shooting Palestinians dead in Gaza, maybe Israeli soldiers could take a break and go for a tour of Ai Weiwei works at the Israel Museum.


    Much of our modern and contemporary conceptions of art and aesthetics are varied forms of Euro-universalism, and today that Euro-universalism clones itself in artists from around the world.


    The design company that Ai Weiwei established in Beijing was called Fake, and the themes of his work often circle around questions of authenticity, value, and their construction and destruction. No comment!


    Will our global society emerge from self-interest and choose a path of openness and respect? The best to end is that Ai Weiwei has become a symbol of resistance against censorship.

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