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In Solidarity with Ai Weiwei

Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor

Here’s some art world trivia for you: What do renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor and South Korean popstar Psy (famous for popular music video “Gangnam Style“) have in common? Evidently, it’s Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei dropping a Han Dynasty Urn www.hirshhorn.si.edu/

According to the LA Times, one media zeitgeist met another last month when a video posted by artist Ai Weiwei showed himself dancing “Gangnam Style.” The video shows Ai dancing with colleagues at his Beijing studio. Ai tweeted the video (with images implying the lack of freedom in China) but it has since been pulled off the Internet. Kapoor, showing his support for fellow artist Ai Weiwei created a new video in its place.

Kapoor's Ai Weiwei solidarity video shoot

Kapoor’s video has been shot but it hasn’t been posted online as of early today. According to Kapoor’s website, “the video will be put on YouTube as soon as it’s ready and follows the mass of Gangnam Style parodies already there.” Kapoor enlisted the aid of some prominent British art-world figures, including artists Tom Phillips, Bob and Roberta Smith and Mark Wallinger, according to the Guardian. Choreographer Akram Khan also participated. In all, close to 250 joined in on Kapoor’s video. Footage shot during taping, including an interview with Kapoor, can be viewed here.

Ai Weiwei video still

Ai is currently the subject of a career retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. He has stated that he is unable to attend the show because Chinese officials still hold his passport. The artist, who has gained international fame for his free-speech activism, was thrown into secret detention last year and was released after 81 days.

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