[Evan attended a pre-recorded "talk" at the New Yorker Festival between Evan Osnos and Ai Weiwei. The artist spoke on living in limbo between freedom and imprisonment, and his hopes for a freer China one day. -- the artblog editors] Chinese multimedia artist Ai Weiwei has made headlines around the world for his provocative and unyielding works since he burst onto the American art world’s radar after coming to New York City in 1981. The international man of intrigue and controversy has been deified by some and demonized by others; he has become a centerpiece for debate on the ever ... More » »
A number of books and catalogs have come out which concern art with a social and/or political focus. This post looks at two which were recently published in Berlin: Art and Agenda; Political Art and Activism, Robert Klanten et al, eds. ( Berlin: Gestalten, 2011) ISBN 978-3-89955-342-0 visible; where art leaves its own field and becomes visible as part of something else, a project by Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto and Fondazione Zegna (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010) ISBN 978–1-934105-0
This is a superb book worthy of a museum. A catalog of the 2010 exhibit by the same name, the book was produced by little Arcadia University Art Gallery, whose talent always seems to match its ambitions. With 5 essays, a great Q&A with the artist from 1995 and lots of photos, the 125-page book adds a lot to the discussion about the important Chinese dissident artist. Ai Wei Wei, who in his interview speaks in pithy Confucian epigrams, is in fact known almost as much for his writings and dissidence as for his conceptual and epigrammatic art.