[Views] So Sorry - Ai Weiwei in Hausderkunst
发起人:art-pa-pa  回复数:5   浏览数:8421   最后更新:2009/10/16 14:34:18 by art-pa-pa
[楼主] art-pa-pa 2009-10-09 16:31:09

ai weiwei
so sorry
12 oct 09 > 17 jan 10

text source: Haus der Kunst 

ai weiwei (*1957) is regarded as the most important contemporary chinese artist. his project 'fairytale', a crowd-puller at the 2007 documenta in kassel, brought ai international fame: for 'fairytale' he had 1001 chinese flown in; it was the largest project that has ever been created for the documenta. for his artworks ai initially appropriates objects – such as thousand-year-old chinese antiquities or spiritual artefacts – in order to then transform them; he thereby rids them of their original meaning and places them into new contexts. ai's works pointedly pose the question of how old and new can coexist, what the new qualities of tradition might look like and how china behaves with regard to itself. to ai weiwei the haus der kunst represents an important place for reflection because of its complex and difficult past: ai strongly criticises china's political leadership and demands an end to censorship analysing the conditions in which authoritarian regimes and cultural dictatorships exist. ai weiwei occupies almost the entire building, including its façade, with own artefacts and performative installations that refer to the past, present and future of China.

‘So Sorry’, the title of Ai Weiwei’s exhibition, refers to the thousands of apologies expressed recently by governments, industries and financial corporations worldwide, in an effort to make up for tragedies and wrong doings – though often without shouldering the consequences or the desire to acknowledge let alone repair. Saying sorry – or not saying it – is in the headlines everywhere and thus also in China. It seems, however, that the expression ’sorry’ has taken on the meaning of ‘fuck off’. Since to apologise also means that it is too late to make amends. Do we really want to buy into ’so sorry’? And should we not find new ways to say sorry and to express our regrets? Do we need a different
culture of apologising?

Exhibition: October 12, 2009 - January 17, 2010
Sunday, October 11, 2009, 12.00 - 20.00
Opening hours: 
Haus der Kunst, Munich
Monday to Sunday 10.00 - 20.00
Thursday 10.00 - 22.00

For more information please follow this Link:
Haus der Kunst

"Cube Light" 2008
160'000 glass crystals, lights and metal, 414 x 400 x 400 cm
Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne

[沙发:1楼] art-pa-pa 2009-10-16 11:12:59
Art | 14.10.2009

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei opens critical exhibition in Munich

source: www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4789765,00.html
Author: Silke Ballweg (at)
Editor: Kate Bowen


Widely known as a critic of the Chinese government, Beijing-based artist Ai Weiwei isn't shy in his latest exhibition in Germany. He says he has no choice but to be an activist.
Even the facade of the Munich museum, Haus der Kunst, has been turned into an exhibition piece. It is currently adorned with 9,000 colored backpacks, which are arranged into letters. A phrase can be deciphered: "She lived happily on this earth for seven years."
These are the words of a grieving mother whose daughter was one of the thousands of children killed when their schools collapsed during the devastating earthquake in the Sichuan province last year.
"The school buildings caved in, thousands of people disappeared - including thousands of children - but the government doesn't want to release the names," said Ai Weiwei.
The phrase shouts out accusingly from the heart of Munich, drawing attention to corrupt politicians in China, which Ai Weiwei blames for the collapse of the schools that hadn't been built according to regulation.
"The poor are neglected and have no rights," said the artist, who has lived through many waves of repression in China and is a vociferous critic of China’s political system. "It's the character of dictatorship in the 21st century."
The title of the exhibition - "So Sorry" - mocks the apologies that politicians and influential figures in China have made in recent years.


Brutality of modernization

Ai Weiwei's political stance is reflected in his art and he examines the transformations that are going on in China today. For example, he sprays Neolithic vases that are over 6,000 years old with cheap industrial paint and works with wood from temples that are centuries old and are being torn down to make way for shopping malls.

In several of his works, he has run thick logs through antique wooden tabletops, creating an effect that is both brute and elegant at the same time.

"During the Cultural Revolution, breaking things was encouraged - you were a good Red Guard or Maoist if you broke very valuable things," said Ai Weiwei. "Our nation does not pay much attention to those things."

Against the background of traditional Chinese aesthetic, the works on show in Munich reflect the brutality of China's modernization process.

Art and dictatorship

Wanting to control knowledge and collection memory is a fundamental characteristic of dictatorships: In China, most young people have never even heard about the 1989 crackdown of the pro-democracy movement that had sprung up in the communist country.

In Germany, under the Nazi dictatorship during the 1930s and 1940s, propaganda was used to control which elements of history could be remembered, and which were taboo.

Ai Weiwei draws on the theme of dictatorship in his exhibition, pointing out that Hitler had commissioned the building of the Haus der Kunst as a play to display German art.

In the building's main hall, Ai Weiwei has rolled out a 35-meter-long carpet with the same colors and pattern as the floor beneath it. The artist has set up around 100 giant roots and tree parts. What was under the surface has become visible and that which was always there has been made noticeable.

"We all need to give our opinion about it or have to make some kind of judgement; otherwise we are part of it," Ai Weiwei said of the Chinese regime.

"That makes me an artist who cannot avoid giving out opinions," he added. "If I don't say anything, I'm part of it - it's that simple. I'm forced to be quite active or politically unaware."

Ai Weiwei is still recovering from injuries sustained when the Chinese security forces beat him up earlier this year. This is why he will not be attending this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, which opens on Wednesday and where China is the guest of honor.

[板凳:2楼] art-pa-pa 2009-10-16 14:24:42
Source: Hausderkunst blog > ai weiwei

After more than two weeks of great effort and labour, the monumental installation titled “remembering” on the front side of the museum is now almost finished. this work of art consists of about 9,000 colorful backpacks of the same kind as those that are carried by chinese schoolchildren. the vivid colors remind us of cheap plastic toys that nowadays are almost always manufactured in the people’s republic of china.

remembering has a deeper and much more disturbing message, though, and must be considered as central in the work of ai weiwei. in 2008, an earthquake shook the ground in the remote province of sichuan in south china. while many buildings were damaged only lightly, it were schools that collapsed in the course of this disaster because they had been built neglecting the building code due to corrupt officials that cared more for their personal livelihood than for the lives of the children that went to study in these buildings every day.

when the earthquake hit the sichuan schools, thousands of children died, buried under the debris of the collapsed structures. in the aftermath, officials tried to hush up this obvious scandal so it was up to brave political activists to research the incident - among them Ai Weiwei. The artist went on numerous journeys to sichuan, talking to the parents of the children that had become victims of greed and corruption just as much as of the devastating force of nature.

when ai tried to appear as a witness in the corruption lawsuit, he was disallowed to do so from the beginning - so he travelled to sichuan for one last time in order to be able to follow the case as an observer, at least. it was then, in the past august of 2009, when members of the chinese secret po:ice faced ai in his sichuan hotel room, arrested the artist, held him captive for about 18 hours and beat him up so badly that he had to undergo emergency surgery five weeks later, just after having arrived in munich to prepare the upcoming exhibition.

according to the neurologists of the university hospital in munich, ai had had a life-threatening intracranial haematoma that might have killed him if he had come to the hospital much later. now, ai has announced that he is going to accuse his country's government for the violence that has been exerted on him.

although these events are certainly alarming, they have also resulted in quite a lot of media attention for the exhibition and the reception of ai’s work in germany, so hopefully this time, officials won’t be able to put ai weiwei off with a lapidar “so sorry”.

[地板:3楼] art-pa-pa 2009-10-16 14:26:06
More pictures: from www.epochtimes.com

[4楼] art-pa-pa 2009-10-16 14:31:58
Exhibition mounting process

Source: Jiang Li's Blog / 蒋立blog

[5楼] art-pa-pa 2009-10-16 14:34:18
Source: Zimbio website
Photographs by: Miguel Villagran/Getty Images Europe

Art critic Jolanda Drexler