Absent Ai Weiwei Stages Major Show in Berlin

The artwork 'Stools' by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum at the exhibition 'Evidence' in Berlin, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
The artwork 'Stools' by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum at the exhibition 'Evidence' in Berlin, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Vengeancia (updated April 7, 2014) For background, check out China’s Art Supergiant, here. Check out Ai Weiwei: “According to What?” at the Hirshhorn Museum here. Ernie Hancock’s Freedom Summit 2014 and activism updates. According to this source, “A prison cell, a pair of jade handcuffs and an installation built with rubble from a demolished studio: Dissident artist Ai Weiwei is drawing heavily on his troubles with the Chinese authorities at a spectacular new show in Berlin.”

"I once was lost, but now I'm found." Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei opens his jacket to reveal a shirt bearing his portrait as he walks into the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau.
“I once was lost, but now I’m found.” Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei opens his jacket to reveal a shirt bearing his portrait as he walks into the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau.

“Ai has filled a floor of the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum with pieces large and small for his exhibition ‘Evidence,’ which opened Wednesday and was billed by organizers as his biggest yet. Ai is barred from leaving China, but still made his presence felt unmistakably in the selection of works.

‘Some are related to my current condition, related to my concerns; some are more aesthetic presentations of the kind of concerns that I always have with art, art history,’ Ai said in a video message.

“Ai, 56, is one of the world’s most famous artists, celebrated abroad with exhibitions from Tokyo to London and known for his striking ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But he has irked authorities at home by using his art and online profile to draw attention to injustices in China and to push for greater transparency. Much of the new show is overtly political, reflecting on issues such as surveillance and environmental problems. [One] such work, ‘Mask,’ is a marble mask atop a tombstone, alluding to China’s problems with smog.

The artwork 'Stools' by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum from April 3 until July 7, 2014.
The artwork ‘Stools’ by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum from April 3 until July 7, 2014.

“Some pieces reflect tensions between tradition and modernization in China. Visitors are greeted by an atrium filled with more than 6,000 antique stools gathered from villages across China’s north — uniform-seeming yet individual objects left behind by history. They also can see a set of Han dynasty vases covered in metallic auto paint — the vases’ antique features overlaid by a symbol of modern consumerism.

“Ai’s own story is ever-present. Over the years, he has been alternately encouraged, tolerated and harassed by officialdom. In early 2011, a studio he had built in Shanghai was abruptly demolished; Ai used concrete and brick rubble from the site to create the work ‘Souvenir from Shanghai.’

An artwork showing his prison cell by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed in the exhibition 'Evidence' at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
An artwork showing his prison cell by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed in the exhibition ‘Evidence’ at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin, Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

“In April of that year, Ai was arrested and held for 81 days during a wider crackdown on dissent. On his release, it was announced that he had confessed to tax evasion and been slapped with a $2.4 million bill. The Berlin show includes “81,” a replica of his cell with a tiny window and naked light bulb. He’s also exhibiting computers confiscated from his office and a jade replica of a pair of handcuffs.

Ai Weiwei supporters display posters that show his picture and the word, Freedom
Ai Weiwei supporters display posters that show his picture and the word, Freedom

“Exhibition curator Gereon Sievernich said he visited Ai several times in Beijing and that, despite Ai’s absence, ‘all the work here has been done from his studio.’

‘He has a team of 20 people and it was a perfect collaboration, and of course we used the Internet and all these tools we have these days,’ Sievernich said, adding that Ai also provided organizers with a short text explaining his thinking for each of the exhibition’s 18 rooms. Ai said in his video message: ‘I still hope I can come to see the show and share the moment.’

“The show opens to the public Thursday and runs through July 7.” Read more.

“Despite all the incredible hostility shown him in his own country Ai Weiwei decided to put on his largest one-man exhibition yet in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau. On 3,000 square metres in 18 rooms and the spectacular Lichthof he will be displaying works and installations which were either designed for the Martin-Gropius-Bau or have not yet been shown in Germany.

Ai Weiwei art: The name he has given to his exhibition is “Evidence”... in the meaning of proof that will stand up in court.
Ai Weiwei art: The name he has given to his exhibition is “Evidence”… in the meaning of proof that will stand up in court.

“The name he has given to his exhibition is ‘Evidence’, a term well known beyond the English-speaking world from American TV crime series in the meaning of proof that will stand up in court. It is a political exhibition that Ai Weiwei has designed for Berlin in his simple and spacious studio in the rural outskirts of Beijing.” Read more.

“Modernism is the original creation of enlightened human beings, it is the ultimate observation of the meaning of existence and the misery of reality; it keeps a wary eye on society and power; it never makes compromises and never cooperates.” Ai Weiwei 1997 (quoted from “Ai Weiwei – Der verbotene Blog”, Galiani: Berlin, 2011) Read more.

Modernism is the original creation of enlightened human beings... it never makes compromises and never cooperates. Ai Weiwei, 1997.
Modernism is the original creation of enlightened human beings… it never makes compromises and never cooperates. Ai Weiwei, 1997.

“‘The Sand Storm’ isn’t long — clocking in at 10 minutes — but the short film does star Ai Weiwei. Right, that Ai Weiwei. The one with cameras trained on his house because of how many times he’s angered the Chinese government. The one who keeps trying to get his passport back. It all makes for a great marketing campaign, and indeed, a Kickstarter page to fund the movie’s post-production plays up the secrecy involved in filming the Chinese artist’s acting debut.” Read more at The Huffington Post, here.

“Renmin is made up of two more basic parts, ren and min. Just to confuse our non-Chinese readers, ren, min, and renmin can all be translated as ‘people.’ ” Read more.

The artwork 'Stools' by Chinese artist  Ai Weiwei is displayed in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum.
The artwork ‘Stools’ by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is displayed in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum.

“Oft-controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is set to make his way to Germany for his latest exhibition, ‘Evidence.’

Appearing at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau, ‘Evidence’ is Ai Weiwei largest one-man exhibition yet – more than 3,000 square-meters stretched over 18 rooms will display a bevy of brand new works alongside a variety of pieces that have never been showcased in Germany. Undoubtedly the highlight of the exhibition will be Stools – an installation of 6,000 stools jam packed in the museum’s atrium.” Read more about Ai Weiwei at Hypebeast.

“Ai Weiwei sits down with us to chronicle how the internet has profoundly impacted his artwork and led to international recognition. Find out how computers have shaped his work as he grapples with contemporary life in China.” Read more.

“HARDtalk is in Beijing for a special interview with China’s most famous artist and dissident, Ai Weiwei. Under constant surveillance, and prevented from leaving the country, how does this artist push back against the forces of repression?” Read more.

According to this source, “Minutes into a more than two-hour show… John told the audience that the performance was dedicated ‘to the spirit and talent of Ai Weiwei,’ according to several audience members. They said the crowd rumbled in recognition that Ai remains a touchy subject for the Chinese government.” Read more.

Elton John publicly dedicated his only concert in Beijing to Chinese artist and political critic Ai Weiwei
Elton John publicly dedicated his only concert in Beijing to Chinese artist and political critic Ai Weiwei

“Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media.

“In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.[it’s] the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.

“First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.” Read more.

“A documentary that chronicles artist and activist Ai Weiwei as he prepares for a series of exhibitions and gets into an increasing number of clashes with the Chinese government.” Read more about the film and Alison Klayman.

Ai Weiwei Film, Never Sorry (2012) from Alison Klayman
Ai Weiwei Film, Never Sorry (2012) from Alison Klayman

“It was July 2011 and Ai Weiwei, one of the most famous artists of the 21st century – the man who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games, and whose millions of porcelain sunflower seeds filled Tate Modern – was under 24-hour police surveillance at his house in Beijing.

“He had just been released from 81 days in detention and was forbidden from talking to journalists or fellow dissidents. Obliged to report all his proposed movements to his minders, he was tailed and shadowed by undercover police whenever he did leave his house. It wasn’t exactly the ‘freedom’ he’d been hoping for but, as I was soon to discover, it was considerably better than what he experienced while in detention.

“On June 22, the day of Ai’s release, I was at home in Oxfordshire. I watched the online footage of him being dumped on his doorstep by the police, clutching his trousers to keep them from falling down. He had lost weight and seemed weary and cowed. Some journalist friends who work in Beijing told me Ai was refusing all interviews because he was worried that he would be re-arrested for breaching the terms of his bail. Above all, he didn’t want to be detained again.” Read more.

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei at home following his release in 2011.
Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei at home following his release in 2011.

According to The Guardian, “Four years after designing the spectacular Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei… announced …that the Beijing team would collaborate again…

“Julia Peyton-Jones, the director of the gallery, said it was ‘tremendously exciting’, adding: ‘What is so fantastic is that it is this extraordinary link of the two games, a Beijing-London axis.

‘These are old and dear friends, so for them [Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Ai Weiwei], they are picking up where they left off. It is a continuation of a conversation that began in Beijing to great effect and they have conceived something really remarkable for our lawn.’

“The involvement of Ai will be cheering news for anyone familiar with the tumultuous 12 months he has had. In October 2010 he won global attention with his commission for the turbine hall in Tate Modern in which he filled the space with 100m porcelain sunflower seeds.

Artist painting porcelain sunflower seed for Ai Weiwei Artist painting porcelain sunflower seed for Ai Weiwei Exhibition at Tate
Artist painting porcelain sunflower seed for Ai Weiwei Exhibition at Tate

“Things then took a dramatic turn …when he was arrested and held without charge for nearly three months by the Chinese authorities, a move generally seen as a punishment for his outspoken views and activism. Ai was held incommunicado and interrogated more than 50 times for, the authorities later said, supposed breaches of tax laws.

“In an interview with Guardian… he admitted that the threat of being arrested once more was always there – ‘Every day I think: ‘This will be the day I will be taken in again.’

“The trio promise that the pavilion will become ‘the perfect place to sit, stand, lie down or just look and be amazed.’

“It will be part of the London 2012 festival, a jamboree of events across the UK that will mark the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. The pavilion designers follow some impressive names, starting in 2000 with Zaha Hadid and including the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, as well as Olafur Eliasson and Peter Zumthor, who designed it last year.” Read more.

“When looking at the work of Ai Weiwei, what first comes to mind is the incredible degree of refinement of his sculptural objects, and the great expensive and time that each work must have cost to produce…. This astonishing level of artistic production power places Ai Weiwei in the same league as the American Jeff Koons and the British Damien Hirst, as that power has positioned those artists and himself at the highest positions of artistic achievement in China, America and Britain.

Ai Weiwei, “Cube Light” (2008), glass crystals, lights, and metal (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic).
Ai Weiwei, “Cube Light” (2008), glass crystals, lights, and metal; photo by Hyperallergic

“So Weiwei is not concerned then or suffering from a lack of economic power; or running from sexual freedom. That he worked with Herzog & Meuron on designing the Bird’s Nest for the Olympics in China speaks to his royal position in Chinese society. …Were Weiwei able to speak out and be a critical agent for the commencement of Western style freedom of speech and of the press, as versus being beaten by the local authorities for doing so, how would this new political philosophy affect his aesthetic position and future decision making as an artist?

“How would it affect his agency as a creative being – were he to critique the production of wealth itself, for example? Ultimately I ask is Weiwei’s deepest concern with wanting one part of the world to operate and have rules and laws and codes like another part of the world, without him organizing hoards of like minded citizens who would at some point be asked to pay the ultimate price for attempting to radically transform their society.

“Just look at America during the 1960′s for how difficult that can be, from the assassinations of both the president, and his high ranking brother, to the murdering of the chief civil rights advocates in the U.S. at that time. Weiwei is able to have a dream and have it become an actual object of art in the world. That is a degree of freedom most persons will never know, or even know that this form of freedom ever existed on this earth.” Read more.

Updates RE: John Stuart and Dean Clifford

“How can we ‘own’ our body, but not ‘own’ anyone else? Ownership is a property claim, or rights claim, so this is a problem, as on one hand we say ‘yes’ we can own bodies, but on the other ‘no’ you can’t own other bodies. I think many people see the danger here, but some don’t … to illegitimate ends like slavery and human rental contracts.” Read more. Also, check out the Ponzi Scheme for Managing the Planet, here. Check out all of the videos from Mike Hoggard and the Watchman Video Broadcast, here; also, check out articles at Red Ice Creations, here. Download important information from Antimatrix.org, here.

“[My] name is John Stuart and I have been informing people about the truth for over 30 years. I am not an attorney but I have worked with attorneys doing legal research for over 20 years.” Read more at Show Me the Loan, here. Read more about what happened to John Stuart.

Check out the National Liberty Alliance. Here’s a video:

“Dean Clifford is not a rich man and he is not a perfect man, but Dean Clifford is a man of courage and he fights for the rights of all men and he is teaching his fellow man to assert their rights and to live in honor and to take responsibility for all their words and deeds – to become fully liable for all they do.

“Currently, Clifford is behind bars, and he is fighting the good fight and accepting full responsibility and liability for all he does – all the while the aggressors and slanderers take advantage of the situation to try to create a force of disinformation so large against Clifford in an effort to isolate him from the people who could learn a great deal from what he has to say.

“But, this effort is an effort in vain, for those ready to hear the truth will instantly know it when they hear it from Dean – for there is a power in truth, raw, immutable, and unstoppable and it comes from an unseen force of unthinkable magnitude and it will serve to light the fire within in all the truth-seekers and will ultimately shed incredible light on all the filthy, corrupt, entities on this once beautiful planet and will bring to light all the atrocities they have done.

“The truth will set mankind free – it is born of a force unmatched in power and it cannot and will not be stopped!” Read more at Dean Clifford.

“It has been prophesied, over and over in the Bible. They will masquerade through this world as beacons of enlightenment, promising freedom and self-fulfillment to all who would listen to their message. Some are willing messengers of their Master’s will, while others are unwitting victims themselves, fooled into believing that peace and prosperity can only come by uniting the world under one government. It sounds so peaceful and loving.” Check out Shining the Light: Exposing the Truth, The Coming New World Order, from Clayton Traylor.

Things You Can't Do in China courtesy of Jason Wishnow, Director of The Sandstorm.
Things You Can’t Do in China courtesy of Jason Wishnow, Director of The Sandstorm.

Update RE: Dr. Kent Hovind

from Eric Hovind

We received an update regarding my Dad’s release. According to his latest review meeting, he will be sent to home confinement for a period of six months on February 11, 2015. Dad continues to request that 6 months of Half-Way House time be added to that, as the BOP regulations permit up to one year of Half-Way House time on a ten-year sentence. However, the BOP regulations do not require them to grant a full year. It is a discretionary decision that lies in the hands of the BOP Administration.

Dad also continues requesting a furlough transfer closer to home. He is currently still in Berlin, New Hampshire, over 1,500 miles from Pensacola.
Kent Hovind #06452-017
FPC PO Box 9000
Berlin, NH 03570 USA

We all continue asking God to work all for HIS glory. To the many who are praying for Dr. Hovind, we say a humble thank you.

All for HIS glory,

Eric Hovind

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