July 4, 2009

China Against All Odds (Internet?)

Filed under: internet — Tags: — wepemac @ 7:15 am

In the Chinese countryside in 2009, man is in essence unclassifiable. Neither dissenting professional or cantor of the “New China”. Ai Weiwei is co-designer of the National Stadium, the iconic Bird Nest Olympic Games. But the artist field is also a social commitment and his blog posts at cogne shortcuts on what the system can secrete injustice and arbitrariness.

His last facet is known today for his countrymen to “strike the Internet.” Because, for some months now, “Chinese authorities have strengthened their control, closing thousands of websites and blogs under the false pretext of fight against pornography or unhealthy.” Last episode to date, the willingness of Beijing to impose control software sold with every computer sold in China, which has aroused the anger of a majority of Chinese Internet users and against which Washington went to war. The call for Ai Weiwei to “strike” was unlikely to be heard. While there are still pleased that his little blog, one of the most famous of China, is the only tone so violent that is not blocked, the artist tells us that the ax fell in early June when 20th anniversary of Tiananmen. It is now hosted abroad and is more accessible in China. Photographs demonstrate the provocateur to a finger of honor or Tiananmen Square with the inscription “fuck off” on his bare-chested in front of the famous giant portrait of Mao …

Previous months, Ai Weiwei was already scrap with censorship for his last fight. Because the authorities refused to publish the list of students died in the disaster in Sichuan in May 2008, Ai Weiwei was undertaken to provide this memory stolen. In conducting its own investigation. “I first thought about a work of art in tribute. Then I decided to change registry. Tell me a list of dead children is “state secret” was unbearable. ” Ai Weiwei was first launched a campaign of telephone harassment of local managers. Then he hired dozens of volunteers to travel around the country ravaged, visiting families, noted the names of schools, classrooms, students. “They had a crazy courage as local authorities regarded them as secret agents. It’s amazing. ”

Ai Weiwei web

(Photo Elisa Haberer)
In his house where he lives with forty cats away from the bustle of downtown Beijing, the walls of offices where busy architects and designers are covered with dizzying lists of names of young victims of the earthquake. They have consistently been published on the blog of Ai Weiwei, and censors the Web are used to erase with the same diligence. “How the police can harass and intimidate parents who lost their children, who have lost everything? Ai Weiwei wondered, this is terrifying double jeopardy. ” For him, it is clear that the earthquake has revealed serious problems in construction. The battle seems to have borne fruit, since Beijing has decided after a year to publish the small shattered lives: 5 335 dead or missing. But in terms of work already done, Ai Weiwei says the balance sheet at more than 6 000.

Ai weiwei web 2-thumb-500x375-9885
(At the lists of child victims of Sichuan, photo CDs)

The artist admits now devote most of his time, 14 hours a day, “to his blog and his writings. “These past three years, I followed all the major social problems of the country” he says. Ai Weiwei, who has kept her Chinese passport, can afford boldness that would apply to other serious problems. Two things protect it, no doubt. Being the son of poet Ai Qing. And having put his genius to the service of the great national cause of the Olympic Games. But recently, increased police surveillance gear. Sabreur of the absurd and unjust, AI Weiwei still believes that things are going in the right direction in China, although civil society and NGOs for example are still struggling to exist. The artist has signed the famous Charter 08, appeared in December 2008, and proposes a plan for democratization of the country. But his commitment to this text which has been a virulent reaction of the scheme is atypical. “Frankly, I did not read the text carefully, he says, but I signed my friend, the writer Lu Xiaobo was arrested for that. This is unacceptable to deprive someone of their liberty just because he helped draft a platform of ideas. ”

With filmmaker Zhang Yimou, Ai Weiwei, is one in 1978 of the first generation of students from the Beijing Film Academy. It is then the first wave of Chinese artists avant-garde, called The Stars. Will follow in 1981 a long period of American twelve years, with a passage from the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York. Back in China in 1993, and involvement in art magazines underground. This hands-on artistic expression is finally experiencing a specialty: the “revolution,” fun “he said,” I like to change the structures, break the rules, standards . Courtesy provocative, this man of 51 years looks like a Buddha would be nice to be left to grow a wild beard, pepper and salt. “Artists are, above all men, is justified there, all my work to express a value, a truth, otherwise why bother? “Magnet markets and margins, it stands rather outside the Chinese art world. Precisely because it was unclear that these talents do not put their creativity at the service of “more truth, more social justice, the only guarantee for the development of people.”

Between two rounds on the Internet, Ai Weiwei preparing exhibitions in Tokyo, Munich, Madrid, London and possibly Paris. He is also working on two television, one in Sichuan and the other on Yang Jia, a man who was tried for murdering six policemen in a police station in Shanghai last year. An act crazy, but following a police harassment, which has earned popularity as lethal surprising that massive Chinese on the Internet. In a China where artists and intellectuals do not know how far to go too far, Ai Weiwei loves to walk on the border, crossing the same, often. “I do not know how far I can go every day reserve of unpredictable events, but I have no choice, this is my reason for living.” Life seemed quite similar to the navigation. “You know that you will eventually one day a touch a rock, but it serves no purpose to paralyze seeking to guess the time.”

Weiwei wall fuck

(A wall of the garden …)




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