Seeing this tomorrow. Yay, birthday!
I need to pay more attention to the art world, apparently, because I was largely in the dark about this important artists’ work and his struggle against the Chinese government.
And I strongly urge you to see it now, before he’s disappeared by them forever.
Just a bit more—It’s a documentary about the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, whose reactionary art has caused him to be detained and censored time and again by his government. You get close to this charming, seemingly unafraid but all-too-human man and his struggle to foment change in China.
The film takes you through his life but there isn’t a dry moment, weaving in the present with the past to show you the relationships between them that drive the man. Some of them are very human, too, and you really get a sense of what it would be like to hang out with this guy (something not always accomplished by similar documentaries).
His art also stands on its own (outside of just attempting to subvert the Chinese government)—I’m thinking of his Tate Modern exhibition of the 100,000 ceramic sunflowers. So much about the millions of things manufactured in China these days, the millions of people living there, able to be trod upon or even stolen (as designed by the exhibit). I especially loved his defacing and destruction of Han Dynasty or Neolithic vases. Those that would be incensed by this should turn their gaze to the constant destruction of the old in favor of the new.