Monday, August 22, 2011

Ai Weiwei

"Doubtless, the tides of history are pulling this archaic ship ever nearer to the banks of democracy, as communication, identification, understanding, and tolerance have begun to supplant methods of coercion and exclusion. We have realized that cultural and spiritual totalitarianism and exclusionism have deflated people's spirits, shrunk their wills, and made them myopic. Burying troublesome opinions and evading difficult questions are nothing short of skepticism and denial of the value of life; they are the blaspheming of gods, and acknowledgment of ignorance and backwardness, and a blatant expression of support for unchecked power and injustice. Today's culture and art are still lacking the most basic of concerns - the social function of artists, social enlightenment, and independent criticism.
No manner of linguistic exploration, no possible appropriation of strategy or medium, and not even plagiarizing techniques or content could possibly conceal independent creation, thus exposing pragmatic and opportunistic style-brokers and reflecting impoverished spiritual values and a general lowering of our tastes.
When the attention paid to "trends" is shifted toward personal methods and issues, when explorations into form are transformed into explorations into the plight of our existence and spiritual values, art will thus be enlightened. What a very long road."
(from essay The Longest Road)

No comments:

Post a Comment