Friday, July 15, 2011

It looks like I may get a new neighbour.

The invitation is something of a symbolic act, but a relevant one nonetheless. Ai-Weiwei has definitely made an impact here in the German art scene, in discussions of international funding for culture, and questions of what exactly are the acute political ramifications surrounding this kind critical art.

An anecdote that I heard at the university here in Berlin to give this some context: There was a huge exhibition of his work in Beijing around the time he was detained. The exhibition was effectively black-listed, ignored by all forms of media, and boycotted by the government. The large project was almost entirely funded from Germany and it would appear was interpreted as an aggressive political act of arts patronage.