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Artist: Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei

Posted on by Ben Hodson

One area that is worth considering is into whether an artist needs to actually go to a place, event, country etc. and/or be directly affected by the event, situation.  While looking at artists intervening a contemporary and relevant issue became apparent.  International Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been detained in China without charge.  Ai Weiwei has recently had a number of shows in London including his world famous ‘Sunflower Seeds’ installation in the turbine hall of the Tate Modern. As an artist he is quite out spoken against the communist government in China. World renowned British sculptor Anish Kapoor has come out to condemn this apparent abuse of his human rights. The authorities appear to be cracking down on all out spoken activists with in its borders.  The unrest and gradual move towards democracy in the Middle East seems to be causing some people to suggest that Chinese people should start similar protests.  The Chinese government appears to be trying to stop this from happening. Kapoor has organised worldwide closures of major art institutions and galleries.  He has also dedicated his recent Leviathan installation to Ai Weiwei’s cause.  On the surface you may question what this would do to the Chinese government, however, this single act has caused Weiwei’s situation to become a worldwide news story.  It shows how artists can intervene without actually knowing or directly experiencing a situation or problem. 

Anish Kappor dedicates art to Ai Weiwei:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13346292

Anish Kapoor appeals:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13356042

Audio interview:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9481000/9481270.stm 

Visdeos about artist being arrested by Chinese government.

House arrest:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11707550

 

Artist stopped from boarding plane:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12950194

International pressure grows

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12966864

Demonstrations:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13178995

His company accused of avoiding taxes:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13475398

Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/may/10/anish-kapoor-ai-weiwei-protest 

Google news:

http://tinyurl.com/3frd7en