Love the Future, originally uploaded by mxccuba.
The New York Times once referred to Ai Weiwei as “a figure of Warholian celebrity”. And his ongoing detainment is shaping up to be a contemporary epic that parallels Valerie Solanas shooting Andy Warhol.
On April 3, the internationally acclaimed Chinese artist was detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong. Some colleagues associated with Ai Weiwei’s studio have also since disappeared. Thirty-seven days later and there is still no official charge or notification regarding his whereabouts or a reason for his detainment.
The lack of transparency surrounding the case has left everyone to only speculate that the most apparent motivation would be the ongoing challenges to political sensitivities in his work. But that’s not new, so it’s probably a connection to the pro-democracy demonstrations inspired by the Jasmine Revolution, making Ai Weiwei one amongst many activists that have disappeared and/or been arrested. However, at this point the investigation appears to be focusing on tax evasion. Ai Weiwei has been denied legal counsel and a lawyer is amongst those that have also disappeared. The case continues to defy China’s criminal procedure law and evade accountability.
Ai Weiwei’s profile has drawn further attention to the crack downs brought on by this Jasmine Revolution. Particularly the tightening of internet controls obstructing demonstration supporters and netizen support continues to be censored and deleted. Love the Future.