Chinese citizen journalist and artist Ai Weiwei was arrested on April 3rd for alleged tax evasion. Known widely as the co-creator of the second most recognizable Chinese national monument, Beijing’s Olympic Bird’s Nest, most think Ai Weiwei was arrested for the outspoken critique of his government. In addition to criticizing China for free speech and poor public buildings that lead to the death of thousands of children – Ai Weiwei has also created a series of photographs, entitled “Fuck Off”, that captures him flicking off government monuments as a statement towards the ills of big government. Now his fans can flip off those that are supporting his jailers.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an op-ed that asked the question, “Have our cultural stewards abandoned one of their own?” The article discusses how many within the art community have still been supporting Chinese government funded art that portrays a majestic country, including the Milwaukee Art Museum. “This summer, enter a realm of majesty and mystery,” claims the museum’s website description of their Chinese funded art expo. If it bothers you that American institutions support art installations that glorify the same government that arrested its most heralded artist for dissent, there is a new web browser “bookmarklet” that will allow you to capture your feeling Ai Weiwei style.
The bookmarklet allows you to flick off the company websites that promote Chinese government funded art. Go to this site to add the bookmarklet to your web browser, go to a company website that has supported Chinese government funded art since Ai Weiwei’s arrest, then snap a screenshot and send it to me (patrick[at]courrielche.com)…I’ll post it here on the site.