Free at last, free at last.....
Ai Wei Wei and authorities kiss and make up?
Although released from detention by Chinese authorities yesterday, Ai Wei Wei's whereabouts remains a mystery.
No one has seen him, reports Beijing-based contemporary artist and lecturer Alessandro Rolandi.
What does this mean for those Chinese artists who, before 3 April and Wei Wei's arrest, had sharpened the edges of their art to provoke political change or thought?
The short-term legacy of Wei Wei's sequestration is censorship, according to Rolandi.
Works perceived as political or sexual (what remains?) are strictly censored.
I asked Rolandi how censors do their job.
"As for censorship, I just heard they go into galleries when they receive communication about a show and check the works before they are going to be hanged to the walls, quite simple," he says.
"So Ai Wei Wei is free (Nobody has seen him yet, though.) and ready to take all the honours of the western world of art for the next couple of years.
"Being here a longtime and liking the absurd, I wonder if it was just a Chinese plan to create the most famous artist in the world.....but don't mind me," muses Rolandi.
Wei Wei's reprieve from suppression and repression appears selective.
The official Chinese news agency spun the artist's release as a gesture of appreciation for Ai Wei Wei's good conduct and cooperation in "confessing" his sins against the state.
"My thought is: If he goes free and Liu Xiaobo doesn't, it means we live totally in the society of media and showbiz; if they both go free, China surprises us all," opines Rolandi, a veteran of the Beijing contemporary arts scene since 2003.
In the meantime, there is a great revival launched by Bo Xilai and Xi Jingpin (next leader) of RED SONGS all over the country, starting from Chongqing City (the Kingdom of Bo Xilai), Rolandi reports.
"As always, you will never understand what the Chinese are doing."
Ai Weiwei & Tienanmen: Girl with mask stages silent protest in Beijing
"There is no violence; there is a moment of strangement in which a whole context is transformed, a whole situation obeying to well-established rules is suddenly made to look random and illogical." Alessandro Rolandi
|4 June 1989 The small man halting tanks|
She is not there anymore. I strongly hope she got away with it.
|Like an apparition she appeared in traffic, wove her protest and vanished. (Photograph by Stefan van Drake)|
The Girl with the Mask, by Alessandro Rolandi
"I observe, borrow, change and document reality to create possibilities that challenge our current socio-political structures and point out the effects they have on our daily life and on our scheme of thought."
Rock on and practice peace and love.
|"Sierra Sky," photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)|