Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Eddie Soloway at Newspace
Surveying Northwest Regional Surveys Part II
Forest for the Tree Farm (Part I)
Boundary Crossings
Dorothea Rockburne
weekend roundup
A Segal at the Met's revival
friday happenings
Paths of Destruction: Neidhardt, Picton and Verbeisen
Eleventh Hour: Opening at White Box
Monday Links
...and thanks for all the fish

recent comments



Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Openings & Events
About PORT

regular contributors


Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman



Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005

contact us


Contact us






powered by


Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a


Creative Commons License

Wednesday 06.22.11

« get your art distributed | Main | Rebel Life: Wes Lang's "A Head Full of Dead" »

Ai Weiwei is free!


Apparently Ai Weiwei is now free on bail. The LA Times also has a report and an up to date photo. The official story is he confessed to tax evasion but that seems dubious.

Being a fan of Mr. Ai who had an exhibition in Portland last year at MOCC, PORT has followed the story from the beginning. Honestly, all we could do is hope to keep up any pressure we could and I'm glad Ai Weiwei has been freed and perhaps this is a good thing for China (sadly, it doesn't effect the art world much other than provide a moral rallying post and hasn't freed other captives).

Ultimately, the Chinese Government overreacted to the toppling of dictatorial governments in the Middle East and rounded up many lawyer, activists and dissidents of whom Mr. Ai was the most prominent. Soon it was apparent that all Chinese cultural exports were going to be tainted by this very serious political farce and Im glad they found a way to back out of a situation that was embarrassingly petty for such a great nation. I love China, have considered myself a bit of a quasi-confuscianist for over two decades and Ai Weiwei was a pretty moderate reformer that through their actions has suddenly turned into the most important Chinese artist in perhaps the last 500-1000 years.

It remains to be seen what psychological damage this trumped up incarceration over taxes has done? Andy Warhol was never quite as open and public after he was shot. Then again Nelson Mandela eventually became President of South Africa and I suppose certain Chinese officials hope Mr. Ai will find a way to lose the new found respect this incident has granted him. Will there be a civil trial and or a fine? Why can't Mr. Ai speak about his incarceration (probably the others being still held). Such outcomes only play into Weiwei's Duchampian-activist M.O.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 22, 2011 at 13:00 | Comments (0)


Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee