Saturday, August 04, 2012


the ascendancy of china as a world economic power assumes greater cultural currency.  generally artists, filmmakers, writers and so on enter into world consciousness as a country acquires such vast wealth as china is doing.  ever more so for china because china threatens to eclipse the united states as the sole superpower.  that china practices capitalism but a capitalism without democracy, without a population guaranteed inalienable civil rights, i think will force us in the western world to rethink the dynamics of capitalism.  for we in the u.s. grew up believing capitalism, human rights, and democracy go hand in hand.  in china they do not. 

and yet china produced the artist ai wei wei.  ai is as much influenced by western art, especially conceptual and pop art, as he is by chinese traditions.  at least he seems influenced by western conceptual and pop art to my own untrained eye.  now there is a documentary on ai wei wei that is in current release in the u.s.  i've not seen the docu but i sure have been following ai's dissident activism ever since he came into my consciousness a couple years ago. 

not that i'm a ai wei wei specialist.  just a fan.  both for his courage in the face of government oppression and his art.  what is also very admirable is ai's embrace of digital technologies like twitter and blogs in order to create and communicate with the larger world. 

the title of this post was also the title of an exhibition by ai.  the title of the docu is never sorry.  both are true statements, i believe, from ai. 

the 20th century was filled with political artist dissidents, mandelstam, a great influence on many writers including me, died in a soviet gulag.  we have not moved beyond repressive regimes and the 21st century now has more than a few dissidents from china.  i wonder if there are chinese poets who, like ai, have embraced digital technologies, social media, and own life stories like ai.  there must be.  who are they?

i can't embed the trailer for this documentary.  there are other trailers for this same docu available but i like how this particular trailer is cut with some seriously good content.  you can find it by clicking here


Post a Comment

<< Home