ISBN-10:
0262015218
ISBN-13:
9780262015219
Pub. Date:
03/18/2011
Publisher:
MIT Press
Ai Weiwei's Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009

Ai Weiwei's Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009

by Ai Weiwei, Lee Ambrozy
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Overview

Manifestos and immodest proposals from China's most famous artist and activist, culled from his popular blog, shut down by Chinese authorities in 2009.

In 2006, even though he could barely type, China's most famous artist started blogging. For more than three years, Ai Weiwei turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings. He wrote about the Sichuan earthquake (and posted a list of the schoolchildren who died because of the government's “tofu-dregs engineering”), reminisced about Andy Warhol and the East Village art scene, described the irony of being investigated for “fraud” by the Ministry of Public Security, made a modest proposal for tax collection. Then, on June 1, 2009, Chinese authorities shut down the blog. This book offers a collection of Ai's notorious online writings translated into English—the most complete, public documentation of the original Chinese blog available in any language.

The New York Times called Ai “a figure of Warholian celebrity. ” He is a leading figure on the international art scene, a regular in museums and biennials, but in China he is a manifold and controversial presence: artist, architect, curator, social critic, justice-seeker. He was a consultant on the design of the famous “Bird's Nest” stadium but called for an Olympic boycott; he received a Chinese Contemporary Art “lifetime achievement award” in 2008 but was beaten by the police in connection with his “citizen investigation” of earthquake casualties in 2009. Ai Weiwei's Blog documents Ai's passion, his genius, his hubris, his righteous anger, and his vision for China.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262015219
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 03/18/2011
Series: Writing Art
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,246,842
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ai Weiwei is one of today's most important and controversial artists. His recent exhibitions include “Sunflower Seeds” at the Tate Modern, London, a vast assemblage of handcrafted porcelain sunflower seeds; and six fiberglass dioramas depicting his 81-day imprisonment in 2011, shown at a Venice gallery in parallel with the 2013 Venice Biennale. He was a designer of the famous “Bird's Nest” stadium of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Lee Ambrozy is the Editor of artforum. com. cn, Artforum's Chinese language website.

Lee Ambrozy is the Editor of artforum. com. cn, Artforum's Chinese language website.

What People are Saying About This

Jock Reynolds

The works and words of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who lived in New York during formative years of his artistic development, seem to arise not only from the venerable cultural traditions of his homeland but also from those commenced in colonial America with the 'Common Sense' political activism of Thomas Paine, further fused with the trickster antics of the Native American Coyote character and the lingering specter of Andy Warhol's media savvy. It remains to be seen what will become of this broadly transnational artist amidst the turbulent global culture of our time, but he is not easily ignored.

Chris Dercon

Ai Weiwei is a widely acclaimed artist, an innovative designer, an influential architect, a visionary urbanist, a competitive cook, and even a great hairdresser. He is also a compelling and disputatious writer who knows how to address and to rally a wide audience, voicing his own dissatisfaction, and that of his fellow countrymen, at being confronted on a daily basis with the alarming glibness of a rampant Chinese society and its disquieting political representation.

Endorsement

The works and words of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who lived in New York during formative years of his artistic development, seem to arise not only from the venerable cultural traditions of his homeland but also from those commenced in colonial America with the 'Common Sense' political activism of Thomas Paine, further fused with the trickster antics of the Native American Coyote character and the lingering specter of Andy Warhol's media savvy. It remains to be seen what will become of this broadly transnational artist amidst the turbulent global culture of our time, but he is not easily ignored.

Jock Reynolds, Henry J. Heinz II Director, Yale University Art Gallery

From the Publisher

"Ai Weiwei is a widely acclaimed artist, an innovative designer, an influential architect, a visionary urbanist, a competitive cook, and even a great hairdresser. He is also a compelling and disputatious writer who knows how to address and to rally a wide audience, voicing his own dissatisfaction, and that of his fellow countrymen, at being confronted on a daily basis with the alarming glibness of a rampant Chinese society and its disquieting political representation." — Chris Dercon , Director, Tate Modern

"Blogging produces reality rather than simply representing it. Ai Weiwei is among our very best guides to this new terrain: one of the greatest living international artists and a fighter for more freedom. Ai Weiwei's daily blog entries, gathered here, will make the reader see the world in a different and startlingly original light." — Hans-Ulrich Obrist , Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London

"The works and words of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who lived in New York during formative years of his artistic development, seem to arise not only from the venerable cultural traditions of his homeland but also from those commenced in colonial America with the 'Common Sense' political activism of Thomas Paine, further fused with the trickster antics of the Native American Coyote character and the lingering specter of Andy Warhol's media savvy. It remains to be seen what will become of this broadly transnational artist amidst the turbulent global culture of our time, but he is not easily ignored." — Jock Reynolds, Henry J. Heinz II Director, Yale University Art Gallery

Hans-Ulrich Obrist

Blogging produces reality rather than simply representing it. Ai Weiwei is among our very best guides to this new terrain: one of the greatest living international artists and a fighter for more freedom. Ai Weiwei's daily blog entries, gathered here, will make the reader see the world in a different and startlingly original light.

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