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The politics of Ai Weiwei

Sheng Yap, Lay (2016) The politics of Ai Weiwei. LSE Undergraduate Political Review (08 Feb 2016). Website.

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Activism and art are one, claims Ai Weiwei. His recent exhibition at the Royal Academy has garnered favourable reviews commending him for his political activism against the Chinese state. The media has variously portrayed his art as “political”, “bold” and as a figure defiant “in the face of authority on behalf of freedom of expression”. However, this simplistic representation of Ai Weiwei as the dissident artist conceals the complex relationship Ai shares with the subject of his art work. I propose that we re-examine Ai Weiwei’s relationship with the Chinese state and its oppressed, and in doing so, refute the media’s reductionist account of Ai and the Chinese state as a simplistic model of the dissident against the hegemon.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author(s)
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2017 10:40
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 08:54

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