|"Accusers" from Ai Weiwei's S.A.C.R.E.D. (2011-2013)|
This is from Art Asia Pacific Magazine way back in July/August 2009, detailing the censorship and harassment of Ai Weiwei and his mother -- in fact, the harassment of anyone who stuck their nose into the details of the earthquake:
|Ai & the Dead Schoolchildren|
... Ai’s 76-year-old mother recently became a target of police attention as well. On May 26, four plainclothes policemen entered her home in eastern Beijing and interrogated her about Ai’s residence near the airport. She then phoned her son, who was attending a reception at the American Embassy for United States congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. After receiving her call, Ai rushed home. When the officers in his mother’s house refused to present identification, Ai dialed the emergency number 110. Additional police officers soon arrived and all parties went to the local police station to file a report, a copy of which was never provided to the artist. ...
...On the morning of May 26, a post on Ai’s blog called for volunteers with engineering and technical expertise to aid in a “construction standards investigation,” a future Sichuan earthquake-related initiative. The post suggests that the privately conducted, state-sponsored investigations have been deeply flawed. Volunteers are asked to contact FAKE Design Studio to assist with their ongoing inquiry into the collapsed schools’ structural integrity.
Click to read the entire 2009 Art Asia Pacific Magazine article by Katherine Grube, which was written four years ago:
|Ai Weiwei STRAIGHT (2008-2012)|
|Ai Weiwei STRAIGHT (2008-2012)|
|S.A.C.R.E.D. by Ai Weiwei|
Ai Weiwei's mother Gao Ying, turned up to the opening of his new exhibit in Venice, this morning. Gao, who's in her early eighties attended in lieu of her son who the Chinese authorities refuse to allow to travel. She has been one of her son's most vocal supporters and has accused officials of hounding her son, describing their approach as "creepy, crooked and evil".
|Ai Weiwei's mother Gao Ying views her son's artwork S.A.C.R.E.D - photo by Marguerite Horner|
In Ai Weiwei's case, there were two government workers who had him under constant observation, up close and personal, even in the toilet, even while he slept, for 81 days. What kind of people would perform such a job? Since I actually know several of the people involved in my own case, I can state that there is something seriously lacking in their core -- perhaps governments deliberately screen out people capable of compassion. Perhaps human beings like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning slip through the cracks because of their youth, high intelligence and cyber skills -- skills that require a soul, like artists -- skills the governments cannot imagine nor ever reproduce.
|"Doubt" from Ai Weiwei's S.A.C.R.E.D. (2011-2013)|
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei has secretly spent 18 months creating six sculptures of the 81 days he spent in detention in China for “tax evasion” in 2011 and has shipped them out of the country. The six works, entitled S.A.C.R.E.D, have gone on display at the Venice Biennale. Ai Weiwei has declined to say how he managed to sneak the artwork out of China. Six shoulder-high iron boxes went on display in the nave of Venice’s Church of Saint’Antonin today. Within each box is a viewing slit revealing scenes of the artist held in detention by Chinese officials.
|"Entropy" (Sleep) from Ai Weiwei's S.A.C.R.E.D. (2011-2013)|
|"Supper" from Ai Weiwei's S.A.C.R.E.D. (2011-2013)|
...Americans concerned about the growing arrogance of our government and its increasingly menacing nature should be working to help Mr. Snowden find asylum. Former Members of Congress, especially, should step forward and speak out.
Regards,"Growing arrogance." "Menacing nature." Those are very strong words, and from my own personal experience with the US government, I completely concur. China also used a word that I liked: "sanctimonious."
China’s state newspaper, The People’s Daily, wrote: “The United States has gone from a model of human rights to an eavesdropper on personal privacy, the manipulator of the centralized power over the international internet, and the mad invader of other countries’ networks. . . The world will remember Edward Snowden. It was his fearlessness that tore off Washington’s sanctimonious mask.”
|"Ritual" from Ai Weiwei's S.A.C.R.E.D (2011-2013)|
What the United States of America did to me, one of its own citizens, is an outrage. The actual individuals who broke the law are no better than common thugs. That they hide behind a "sanctimonious mask" in an attempt to disguise their criminal behavior thoroughly disgusts me. As I wrote in my September 5, 2012 letter to Kyle R. Scott, the U.S. Consul General in Milan, I expect nine million euros and apology to correct the situation. An excerpt:
"Because of my good character and hard work, I have earned access to people and venues denied to many foreigners. The United States of America should be honored to have an American such as myself represent our country abroad. Instead, you have attempted to assassinate my character, illegally rendition me back to the USA and have me institutionalized. You have stolen years from my life, not to mention the physical, emotional and mental damage that you intentionally inflicted. You have interfered in the lives of innocent civilians both here in Italy and in the USA. You have spent a fortune in time, energy and money trying to destroy me. It is an outrage. By such behavior, it is clear that your intentions here in Italy are far from honorable. The United States has no right to criticize one single country on this planet until you clean up this mess. Nine million euros and an apology is a bargain."
|"Cleansing" from S.A.C.R.E.D. by Ai Weiwei (2011-2013)|
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog