Sunday, 25 October 2015

Ai Weiwei: Incarceration and Sanitation

We could tell you a tale of misogyny, misery, and melancholy, to simultaneously boil your blood and chill the spine. (After all, it is nearly Halloween!) All we'd have to do would be to tell you about our week. But frankly, isn't life appalling enough as it is, without us moaning about our personal traumas? Well, quite. So let us think about our own weary concerns another day and concentrate on somebody else's for a change.

Bogsley Hansson Friend, that connoisseur of all things cultural, sent us a message from Ai Weiwei's exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art. Weiwei's S.A.C.R.E.D. depicts his 2011 house arrest in China. Bogsley Hansson Friend writes:

Ai Weiwei bog art. Part of S.A.C.R.E.D.
Six boxes / dioramas you can look into that are about his house arrest / incarceration.



At the risk of being flippant, we must say that this shower scene reminds us of Semi-Intellectual Friend's shower in Thailand. Although of course Semi-Intellectual Friend wasn't, as far as we know, guarded by Chinese army officials at the time.
When we think about it, the design also reminds us of Semi-Intellectual Friend's shower in Denmark. It appears that, although competent in many areas of life, Semi-Intellectual Friend has very bad luck with showers.



The outside of the boxes, at the Royal Academy.

We would exhort our readers to support Amnesty International to help political prisoners around the world, but then there's the issue of the decriminalisation of prostitution, that no right-thinking person can support, and it all gets very muddled and confusing. One should of course still support all the other work that Amnesty does (for balance, see also Amnesty's motivation for passing the resolution to support the legalisation of prostitution), but it behoves every thinking human being to protest the de-criminalisation of people who benefit financially from trapping women, men and children into prostitution. It is not too late, by the way, to protest against the resolution: We have not given up and it is not too late.

A festive video on the theme of freedom seems fitting, n'est-ce pas? (Although of course the American notion of freedom is inherently problematic (especially in this Southern context - apart from all the colonialism and white supremacy lurking about, there is the fact that the vehicle of freedom is always a petroleum-consuming car - what's wrong with an environmentally friendly and health-promoting bicycle, for instance?), and possibly we should spend time on research in order to find something more universal, but frankly, my dear, we have had a rough week and we wish to get on with our Sunday now. Also this is a song about a woman escaping an abusive husband, and that is a concept we support wholeheartedly, whatever the context.)



Festive video - Danielle Bradbery, The Heart of Dixie

Related Reading
All posts featuring Bogsley Hansson Friend
Interview with Ai Weiwei in Vice, mentioning his bicycle
All posts featuring Semi-Intellectual Friend
A favourite post of ours, in which we get sentimental about our friends: Ask Not for Whom the Bog Rolls

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