Friday, July 8, 2011

Well, well, Ai WeiWei

Ai Wei Wei, Neolithic style pot with Logo, 1992

Ai Weiwei (born 18 May 1957) is a Chinese artist and political activist, who is also active in architecture, curating, photography, film, and social and cultural criticism.

Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.[3] As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called "tofu-skin schools" ** in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[4] In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing airport on 3 April, he was held for over two months without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of "economic crimes" (tax evasion). [Wikipedia]

**Last November (2010) the [Chinese] Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce had issued a joint notice to ban public body-painting displays. It was reported that this was because they had a negative impact on social morality.

Excerpted Remarks from the Tisch Gallery consultants:

Ours is a culture defined by marketing and acquiring. With one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, a compulsive shopper, this just may be part of the definition of being American. Virtually every activity in our lives is experienced through purchases, from layettes to caskets. Branded and On Display is the first exhibition to examine the work of artists who explore this dominant cultural phenomenon.

randing, first and foremost, resides in the realm of design. It is the quintessential marriage of art and commerce, often inspired by aesthetic sensibility and intuition while being informed by market research. Branding does not arise from the impetus of making art for art’s sake and it does not seek to call out the critical, reflective capacities of its target audience.

Branded and On Display
January 17—March 30, 2008
Tisch Gallery

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