Ai Weiwei (1957-) 艾未未
scan, paper, grayscale; original source: photograph, gelatin silver print, 50 x 70 cm (each)
Barmé 1999: Barmé, Geremie R. In the Red: On Contemporary Chinese Culture, New York: Columbia University Press, 1999:insert before p.201.
Ai Weiwei, Galerie UrsMeile
Ai Weiwei, Tian’anmen square, Washington, Hong Kong, monuments, Mao portrait, Chinese avantgarde, public, omnipresence, power, protest
Ai Weiwei: A Study in Perspective (Ai Weiwei: Toushi xue 艾未未: 透视学)
Even more explicit in his disrespectful disregard for Mao is Ai Weiwei with his series entitled 透视学 A Study in Perspective which again allows us to see an audience perspective: in one version of 1997 (later he added more photographs to the set), it consists of three photographs of power centers. In each, the photographer holds the finger up to 1. the White House, 2. the Hong Kong Bank of China Tower Building, and 3. Tian’anmen, in the last case thus blotting out completely, Mao’s portrait. All of these artworks are reflections of Mao’s considerable public presence both during the Cultural Revolution, before and after, even if his presence (and thus, his importance, too) is being negotiated and negated rather drastically in some of them.