- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 4899 Hour
- Reading permission
(2)Comparative Criminology |
Ai Weiwei and his supporters decry the decision by Shanghai authorities to bulldoze his new studio over a violation of property laws. On the scale of destruction, in my opinion, demolishing a brick studio seems minor and ordinary compared with willfully shattering a 2,000-year-old vase. Another studio can be built, but the urn as an entity is an irrecoverable loss.
Another way of looking at such violent actions is through Ai Weiwei’s own lens of conceptual art. Think of his studio being stripped of all mundane or economic matters, leaving only its symbolic value. The driver of the bulldozer is "the artist" making a statement about "the cycle of creative destruction." The Municipality of Shanghai should then put photos of the demolition up for auction at Phillips, Christies or Sotheby’s to earn revenues that could at least help city residents offset the wrecking costs. Actually, Ai Weiwei’s friends late last year held a crab dinner in celebration of the impending studio demolition, thereby unintentionally giving recognition to the anonymous bulldozer driver as one of their own in deed, if not spirit.
Under Ai Weiwei’s guiding concept of attacks against artworks as a valid type of art, George Bush should be awarded a grand prize for the ransacking of the Iraqi National Museum and Aurel Stein could qualify posthumously for an honorable mention in his theft of the Dunhuang manuscripts. If only Stein had been a daring artistic visionary instead of a banal retentive collector – for he could have instead spectacularly set fire to those venerable scrolls. Though a complete failure as an oil painter, Adolf Hitler was quite competent at shock art, far surpassing Ai Weiwei with the torching of hundreds of paintings and entire libraries from the decadent past.
The inspiration and direct influence on the radical artist and his pal, the theoretician of modernist aesthetics Liu Xiaobo, came from the Red Guard movement, which succeeded in dismantling countless [sic] "rotten" old Taoist shrines, Buddhist temples and Tibetan monasteries…
In interviews, Ai Weiwei describes antiquities as readymade art, or found objects (in contrast to the Dada movement, which focused on the "artifacts" of the modern Industrial Age). He has no qualms about painting the Coca Cola logo on Neolithic pottery. His adolescent years coincided when many precious treasures were desecrated, stolen or smuggled out of country.
Ai Weiwei’s casual description of picking up "found" objects of ancient origin – some of great monetary value – is reminiscent of the mental habits of the art thieves in western China who, as I know so well from several clashes at desert-ecology sites, are incredibly bold and cheeky when attempting to steal another’s property, or should we say "expropriate" for the "the masses"?…