Saturday, October 19, 2013

Since writing to the ambassador of China - a poscript

   It was back in January 2011 when I first heard about Ai Weiwei's studio being demolished. 
   I was incensed by the actions of the Chinese government. Having learned much about Ai Weiwei's online presence and his identity as a fine artist and dissident I was very delighted and joyfully engaged in the creativity that this man generated and felt akin to his general outlook and philosophy as an artist. 

   In reading more about him I learned that Marcel Duchamp was one of his 'Art Heroes' as he is mine as well. Ever since then I have felt a symbiosis with this man as he maintains his life in China and as he travels around the world. I simply love his art and his poltics.
   This summer I visited an exhibition of his work at the AGO and was thrilled with the affirmation of an ideology, a way of living and working, his vision and his sensibilities. Remembering a news item back in 1968, knowing of Du Champ's visit to Toronto and the Ryerson Theatre I recall the feeling of a very unique character visiting our city of Toronto. *

    Although Ai Weiwei embraces an Andy Warhol modus operandi much like the 'Factory' activities of Warhol in the seventies I really admire him for his sense of industrial sized 'Art Making'.

    Here at this show it is very easy to get in touch with one's sense of humanity. The quotes that he has fixed to the walls of the gallery are a maxim for his followers, they are eloquent truisms that come from a hardened artist - ideologue whose family and inheritance has been tempered by the antithetical spirit of communism and its cohorts.

   One gets the sense that Ai Weiwei has always been in deep love with a china of the past and revels in the thought that a new China can emerge proudly, virtuously and indomitably from a communist paralysis that has smashed hope for the average citizen.

  Ai Weiwei is a superhero citizen. Not a leader, a political figure, but a capital 'A' Artist intent on nurturing integrity through truth.

   It's amazing to think that Ai Weiwei was one of the artists consulted on the construction and design of the 'birds nest' stadium at the Beijing Olympics. It was later that his studio was destroyed by the government because claiming he had not paid his taxes.

My email missive most likely landed on deaf ruling party ears, immune to the triumph of artistic integrity.

Ai Wei wei,..    'YOU da man'  do not let fault the glory of your vision. Stay accustomed to desire, stay wired to the planet and keep the emails, blogs and tweets a flutter.


[book] Marcel Duchamp and John Cage / by Shigeko Kubota

(Takeyoshi Miyazawa : [s.l.], 1970) 1 vol. (unpaged) : ill. + 1 phonodisc.

Consists mainly of photographs taken at a chess concert entitled 'Reunion', which occurred March 5, 1968, at Ryerson Theatre in Toronto. The participants were John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Teeny Duchamp, David Tudor, Gordon Mumma, David Behrman, and Lowell Crass. Lowell Crass constructed a chess board with circuits; moves on the board transmitted or cut off sound produced by several musicians (see also Art in America 61 (November 1973) 72-79). 

Duchamp, Teeny and Cage during 'Reunion'


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