Jun 10, 2011

Ignorance and Hypocrisy Always Win

From Ai Weiwei's Blog. Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009.
Edited and traslated by Lee Ambrozy

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I do not care for honor. Like all people, I possess that sort of honor naturally derived from being an upright person. I am not afraid of confronting any person, or any power, no matter how formidable it, or they, may seen. This is because I trust in my ability to protect my fundamental rights. I must be this way, there is no other choice, and I must be willing to sacrifice for this. Any cost of safeguarding the right to act as an upright person is invariably not worth mentioning.

Freedom is a God-given right. It is unequalled, absolute, and priceless. No matter if you are rich or poor, intelligent or not, it belongs to you, and no one can touch it.

What is the problem with profanities or blaspheming? Can you be cursed to death? In the material an psychological reality of those ignorant, useless, hopeless, frustrated lost souls, curse words are all they have. For base and uneducated people, having a few curse words at your disposal isn't all at bad.

No one should pretend to represent the mainstream, or use civilization as an authority or force. Civilization does not belong exclusively to the society's upper crust, it is not a precursor to keeping social order; civilization is an amalgamation of human nature, the sum of your exceptional points and his weak points. Furthermore, correlative relationships between wealth and power do not have to be inevitable.

Theories of superiority, optimization, and cultural purity harbored by cultural fascists will always be disgraceful, lamentable, and pitiful. All this is saying is: I am better than you, I will not speculate with you because you are lesser than me, in my opinion you are lowly, I am powerful.

Eugenic arises from an inner panic. It is the wishful thinking of people or authorities who don't dare, or who aren't willing speak frankly or straightforwardly. There is not justice in such world, an a shortage of good intentions everywhere, and whether they are intellectual or emotional efforts, all energy goes into safeguarding the basic conditions of such a dishonorable existence. Freedom an transparent standpoints and value systems are direct threat to the social foundation that such an existence relies on.

None of this seems strange, what is strange is that with gains comes loss. And what about the other population of people? Where is your so-called social conscience? Who is protecting fundamental principles of truth? Who is speaking for the interests of others, which is the indispensable basis of civilization? Generaly speaking, it is not worth the trouble, because this is a society with no true kindness or geniality, a society where beauty makes way for ugliness. All of my actions and selfish behaviors are merely for my own benefit, I can never truly understand others, for I lack a sympathetic hearth. I argue for my own benefit, my personal rights, and I believe my selfish position might be related to others.

When the brillant and accomplished person of a society collude with the dark powers to become thieves and deceivers, ours will continue on as an overwhelmingly misfortunate era lacking in conscience. All of the humiliated and deceived people struggle to gain sympathy, deeply believing this is their fate, and they have neither aspirations non campaigns to improve themselves. They are merely a flock of sheep sent out to graze on the road, thereby renouncing their lives' pursuit of religious.

Jun 9, 2011

Ai Weiwei: the dissident artist

Hari Kunzru on Ai Weiwei

He filled Tate Modern's Turbine Hall with sunflower seeds and campaigned against corruption. Then last month China's most provocative artist disappeared.

protesters in Ai Weiwei masks
'If he is not free then we are not' ... pro-democracy protesters in Ai Weiwei masks.
Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP Photo

As I write, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been in detention for 51 days and 6 hours. I know this so precisely because someone who goes by the handle "loveaiww" has placed a counter on the web. On the door of my flat is a poster with a silhouette of Ai, made from a photograph taken during a period when he was interested in getting (and giving) weird haircuts. His round head is surmounted by two long tufts of hair, like horns. It looks wild, comic. "Weiwei works here" says the text.

We are all Ai Weiwei, is the message. Where we are, he is too. And wherever he is, we are with him.

Read the original text in The Guardian

Published by The Guardian on Satuday 28 May 2011

Jun 7, 2011


Special Exhibition + Screenings + Performances + Benefit Art Sale
June 7, 2011 | 6 - 9 PM


MC: Tim Rollins

6 PM - Performances by Margaret Leng Tan | Lutz Rath | Tim Rollins and K.O.S. Poetry by Anthony Haden-Guest

7 PM - Symposium moderated by Jerome A. Cohen
Panelists - Alfredo Jaar | Eleanor Heartney | Carroll Bogert | Melik Kaylan | Alexander Melamid | Joan Lebold Cohen

8 PM - Benefit Art Sale
Previews June 6-7, 11am - 6pm

6 - 9 PM
Screenings of videos works by Ai Weiwei and excerpt from Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Suggested Admission: $50

Donations (tax-deductible): http://whereisaiweiwei.eventbrite.com/

$100 Receive Limited Edition 3-D Ai Weiwei T-shirt by Ali Hossaini
$200 Receive Limited Edition Signed Photo by Christoph Draeger

Rsvp to: benefit@whiteboxny.org

Proceeds will equally benefit Human Rights Watch and the White Box Global Outreach Program

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (click to view artwork)

Adrian Piper, Agnes Denes, Ai Weiwei, Andres Serrano, Alfredo Jaar, Ali Hossaini, Anna Kunz, Anton S. Kandinsky, Ben Sakoguchi, Braco Dimitrijevic, Christophe Draeger, Cris Gianakos, Dan Graham, Dara Birnbaum, David Medalla, Dennis Oppenheim, Gary Hill, Hans Breder, Ida Applebroog, Ivan Navarro, Jerry Kearns, Jorge Tacla, Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung, Leon Golub, Lorna Simpson, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Luis Jimenez, Lydia Venieri, Komar and Melamid, Kimsooja, Maripol, Mary Mattingly, Nathalie Talec, Pat Steir, Paul D. Miller, Peter Fend, Stefano Cagol, Teresa Margolles , Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Ushio Shinohara

In collaboration with Human Rights Watch, the international non-profit space White Box (whiteboxny.org) will be presenting Ai Weiwei with the first 2011 White Box Arts and Humanity Award for his distinguished contributions to world art and culture. Due to the urgency of Ai Weiwei’s continued detainment, White Box has decided to honor the artist on June 7, 2011 in conjunction with its Spring Benefit.

The award pays tribute to Ai Weiwei as an unparalleled defender of freedom of speech and recognizes his brilliant career as a Chinese patriot, an artist, architect, global citizen and activist.

At the June 7th 2011 Benefit, White Box together with Human Rights Watch will present WHERE IS AI WEIWEI? – a panel, exhibition and fundraiser event to benefit equally Human Rights Watch and White Box’s Global Outreach program. There will be screenings of selected videos by Ai Weiwei as well as an excerpt from Alison Klayman's documentary, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

The panel, video screenings and benefit exhibition and event will take place at White Box on 329 Broome Street in the Bowery/Lower East Side art district, New York City. A select group of artists with social/political conscience will be invited to contribute works that in some measure may respond to Ai Weiwei’s incarceration.

White Box plans to also present a follow-up benefit event in October 2011, at which time we hope the artist will be present to accept the award in person.