AK Contemporary: Ai Weiwei
Friday, January 4, 2013, 7:30 pm
FREE for Members
$5 for non-members
Lecture: “Art and Politics: A Look at Ai Weiwei”
With Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma
Film: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, 2012
Named by ArtReview as the most powerful artist in the world, Ai Weiwei is China’s most celebrated contemporary artist and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months, he quickly became China’s most famous missing person, having first risen to international prominence in 2008 after helping design Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium and then publicly denouncing the Games as party propaganda. Since then, Ai’s critiques of China’s repressive regime have ranged from playful photographs of his raised middle finger in front of Tianamen Square to searing memorials of the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in shoddy government construction in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Against a backdrop of strict censorship, Ai has become a kind of Internet champion. Through his frequent, witty use of his blog and Twitter, he is able to organize, inform, and inspire his followers, becoming an underground hero to millions of Chinese citizens.
First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to the charismatic artist, as well as his family and others close to him, while working as a journalist in Beijing. In the years she filmed, government authorities shut down Ai’s blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention, while TIME magazine named him a runner-up for 2011’s Person of the Year. This compelling documentary is the inside story of a passionate dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.
About AK Contemporary
AK Contemporary is a new series at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery that will focus on contemporary artists. Each program will begin with a lecture in which Assistant Curator of Education Jessica DiPalma will provide an in-depth look at the artist’s life and work and will conclude with the screening of a documentary film in which the artist is featured. This series will mark the first time many of these films have been screened in Western New York. View All Upcoming Programs
Part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY
On the first Friday of every month—from 10 am to 10 pm—admission to the Gallery’s 1962 Knox Building is free. Events and art classes are offered for FREE for Members and for a small fee for non-members. Learn More