miercuri, 2 februarie 2022

Ai Weiwei -"1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows"


Dacã nu ati auzit pânã acum de Ai Weiwei, neapãrat trebuie sã bãgati repejor un google. E unul dintre cei mai importanti artisti contemporani din afara Europei/Americii. Existã si un documentar foarte interesant: "Ai Weiwei -Never Sorry" pe care îl recomand. 
Pe mine m-au încântat foarte mult aceste memorii pe care si-a luat timp sã le organizeze. Pe lângã faptul cã îsi clarificã pentru public ideile despre artã, Ai Weiwei dezvãluie multe amãnunte despre viata lui si mai ales detaliazã într-un mod intim relatia lui deosebitã cu tatãl sãu (chiar nu stiam cã tatãl lui a fost un mare poet chinez, Ai Qing, prieten cu Pablo Neruda, care a studiat la Paris în tinerete).
Nu este o povestire cronologicã a vietii lui. Structura are o amprentã puternic personalã. Discursul curge dupã o logicã internã în care artistul îsi întretese biografia cu devenirea lui de artist. 

Reflectiile despre artã: 

"In the era in which I grew up, ideological indoctrination exposed us to an intense, invasive light that made our memories vanish like shadows. Memories were a burden, and it was best to be done with them; soon people lost not only the will but the power to remember. When yesterday, today, and tomorrow merge into an indistinguishable blur, memory -apart from being potentially dangerous- has very little meaning at all."

"In the mid-1980s, the art world was still wallowing in German neo-expressionism -large paintings with raw, overdramatic brushwork- whereas I was drawn toward Dada's countercultural tendencies. I fused a violin and a shovel, I inlaid a condom on a Chinese army-issue raincoat, and using a wire clothes hanger, I fashioned a profile portrait of Marcel Duchamp. It was Duchamp's work that had caught my eye at the Philadelphia Museum of Art when I first arrived in America and it was his emphasis on art as an intellectual and not simply a visual experience that would be a lifelong inspiration to me. His interest in ordinary objects, in the "readymade" was already influencing my own artistic productions."

"To conventional culture [...] art sould be a nail in the eye, a spike in the flesh, gravel in the shoe: the reason why art cannot be ignored is that it destabilizes what seems settled and secure. Change is an objective fact, and whether you like it or not, only by confronting challenges can you be sure you have enough kindling to keep the fire in your spirit burning. Don't try to dream other people's dreams [...]; you have to face up to your own predicament honestly, on your own terms. There's a huge gulf between your aesthetic passions as an artist and the indifference of the real world."

"In New York I had once written, "If someone goes to MoMA and doesn't feel overcome with shame, he's either got something wrong with his artistic instincts or he's a complete scoundrel. All you'll find there is prejudice, snobbishness, and vanity." I was young and full of myself then, but twenty years later, with the visit of the MoMA delegation to Caochangdi, I continued to recoil against the museum's complacent, elitist tendencies. Art should be recognized, yes, but not in the form of expensive collectibles to be deposited in MoMA storage to molder -that's simply a waste. My vision of contemporary art took a very different form. To me, art is in a dynamic relationship with reality, with our way of life and attitude to life, and it should not be placed in a separate compartment. I have no interest in art that tries to keep itself distinct from reality."

"Sometimes friends ask me how to make a documentary. There are three cardinal rules, I tell them: start filming, keep filming, and never stop filming. So long as the camera is running, then you have footage, and there's no footage that can't be properly edited. Recording what is happening is more important than pushing any particular point of view, and that's all the more true when information is suppressed."

"Real choice is difficult, because the meaning of choice emerges only in difficulty itself. To know a period of history is equally difficult, for so-called history is a part of self-knowledge. In the face of authoritarianism, most curators and artists lose the power of speech, nullifying aesthetics and ethics with their moral compromises. I myself do not have it within me to compromise. But in this echo chamber, to give a hoarse battle cry elicits nothing but a hollow reverberation. Today's censorship touches on all aspects of life -from the internet and newspapers to books, concerts, and art exhibitions. It nullifies the individual's sense of self and experience of life: ideas give way to compliance, speech becomes flattery, and existence is reduced to servility."

"My works relating to migrants are consistent in form with the projects that have interested me in the past. Whether my status is seen as that of an artist, an activist, or a citizen, I always seek to integrate these various roles and create an effective interplay between form and language in my explorations, documentary recordings, and exhibitions. My focus on the refugee crisis gave me the opportunity to move beyond the arena of resistance to China's authoritarian government and engage in more universal observations about human nature, and to more fully express my understanding of human rights."

"Artistic creation, being so personalized, commonly stands in stark opposition to a state's agenda, and my work typically has an antagonistic dependence on the will of the group and the will of the state. No one can rid themselves of the imprint of their era's language and culture, and art serves simply as a pioneer for collective reflection: it offers a chance for a group, or a nation, to become alert to an issue, and to enhance its awareness of things.
My understanding of freedom puts me, as a political exile, at odds with the authoritarianism practiced by my native country. By choosing to leave China, I have lost a sense of belonging and a secure foundation, drifting like duckweed on the current. But now my country is in much the same predicament, because it rejects memory and refuses to honestly address the task of building a healthy society and establishing a legitimate polity. Although China grows more powerful, its moral decay simply spreads anxiety and uncertainty in the world."

"Today, more and more people are being forced to leave their ancestral homes, for all kinds of reasons -war, religious discrimination, political persecution, environmental degradation, hunger, poverty. Will we ever be able to eliminate these scourges? Can a civilization that is built on the misfortune of others carry on forever? And who can be sure that they themselves will not one day be torn from their homes and cast onto a foreign shore, only to encounter discrimination and be forced to beg for sympathy?
The fates of our three generations -my father's, my son's, and my own- are tightly linked to the fates of countless people we have never met and will never know. This gives me all the more reason to say what's in my heart, to share with others, and to make myself heard. Self-expression is central to human existence. Without the sound of human voices, without warmth and color in our lives, without attentive glances, Earth is just an insensate rock suspended in space."

Prietenia lui cu Allen Ginsberg
"Allen was not always so flattering. Once, after examining a portofolio of mine, he said to me, "I really don't know who would be interested in a Chinese artist." I still remember this as though it were yesterday. I never thought of Allen as an American poet -even if his Americanness was utterly authentic -for others had an outlook that was entirely American, and Allen had a global perspective. The United States likes to think of itself as a melting pot, but it's more like a vat of sulfuric acid, dissolving variety without a qualm."

Cuvinte întelepte
"When authority determines meaning, independent thought does not exist, and everything is an extension of the discourse of power."

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