Friday, April 29, 2011

A Call for China to Free Unjustly Imprisoned Artist Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei with musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou in the elevator when taken in custody by the police, Sichuan, China, August 2009
100 cm x 130 cm color photograph
Courtesy Ai Weiwei and Christine König Galerie, Vienna

“We can perhaps bet on art to win over tyrants. It is the world’s artists, particularly those courageous enough to stand up against authoritarianism, for whom we need to be concerned, and for whose safety we must fight.”
- Salman Rushdie

On April 3, 2011, the internationally recognized Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained by Chinese officials at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong, and his papers and computers were seized from his studio compound.

The international arts community has rallied around Ai Weiwei's unjust incarceration and an online petition is being sponsored by museum directors and cultural figures across the globe: 'By using Ai Weiwei’s favored medium of “social sculpture,” we hope to hasten the release of our visionary friend."

Please take a moment and sign the petition here:
Call for the Release of Ai WeiWei

Your signature will join the growing list sampled below:

Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation
and Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art
Juan Ignacio Vidarte, Director General, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao,
and Deputy Director and Chief Officer for Global Strategies, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Glenn Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate and Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern
Kaywin Feldman, President, Association of Art Museum Directors and Director
and President, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Yongwoo Lee, President, The Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Michael Govan, Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Vishakha Desai, President and Melissa Chiu, Vice President of Global Arts, Asia Society
Jim Cuno, President and Director, Art Institute of Chicago
Julián Zugazagoitia, Director, Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City
Ann Philbin, Director, Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles
Olga Viso, Director, Walker Art Center
Alfred Pacquement, Director, Musée national d'art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Paris
Arnold Lehman, Director, Brooklyn Museum
Jill Medvedow, Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes
and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London
Poul Erik Tøjner, Director, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Neal Benezra, Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Tony Ellwood, Director, and Suhanya Raffel, Deputy Director, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia
Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director, Harvard Art Museums
Ann Goldstein, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Apinan Poshynanda, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Artistic Director, dOCUMENTA (13) and Bernd Leifeld, CEO, documenta
Manray Hsu, Founding Director, Taipei Contemporary Art Center
Holly Hotchner, Nanette L. Laitman Director, Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Joel Wachs, President, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Pittsburgh

More at:

Op/Ed piece Dangerous Arts by Salman Rushdie in the New York Times.

Ai Weiwei's Blog

Free Ai Weiwei

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