Ai Weiwei Update: 05.25.11

Nemesis-Ai Weiwei: The Elusiveness of Being, guerrilla projection, Geandy Pavo, May 20, 2011, NYC

• Nearly two months after he was first taken by police, Ai Weiwei has finally been officially charged. A report on New China News Agency on Friday, which was quickly removed, said Ai's Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd. had "intentionally destroyed accounting records" and evaded "huge amounts" of taxes. Despite the fact that Ai's whereabouts went unacknowledged by police for days after taken into police custody and the fact that his wife was only allowed to visit him for the first time early last week, China claims Ai was "legally placed under supervised residence" and that "authorities have protected his rights to family visits." He remains in lockup.

• As noted here last week, Ai's wife, Lu Qing, has already addressed the tax evasion issue: "He's not the company's legally-designated representative, nor is he the chief executive. So even if the company is accused of these crimes, Ai Weiwei should not be detained."

• Chinese lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan, one of a dwindling number of people who still speak out on Twitter about sensitive issues, has problems with the Chinese case against Ai, including their claim that they never targeted Ai for his controversial art activities.

• Ai's detention has sparked creative responses from artists worldwide. The latest follows in the footsteps of both Cpak Ming, who projected an image from an Ai stencil on the wall of Hong Kong's People's Liberation Army barracks, and Krzysztof Wodiczk, who has made politically incisive art by projecting images on monuments and government buildings worldwide. Cuban artist Geandy Pavon has projected a photo of Ai's face on the exterior of the Chinese Consulate in New York (here's video).

Pavon tells Hyperallergic that he created the image by filmed an image of Ai's face reflected in sunflower oil (a referene to Ai's sunflower seed installation at Tate Modern). Born in Cuba but forced to leave for his political views, Geandy sees a parallel between Ai and Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata: "Ai Weiwei is a victim of the same system as Zapata. When I projected Ai weiwei’s face, I projected all the people who have suffered, who have gone through the same thing. I think a victim is always a mirror of other victims."

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1 comment:

Tristan said...

Great Ai Weiwei coverage! I'll be sure to keep coming back.