We often post videos,profiles or quotes of artists because of the courage they exhibit in producing work that breaks from the norm, and that many would consider dangerous. Their example helps us to have a bit more courage in our own life and work, in whatever small matter terrifies us.
Among the most poweful is Chinese artist AiWeiwei. He is a dissident, who has forthrightly spoken out against the Chinese Government, and endured imprisonment, surveillance, and the shut down of his blog, which has become one of his most provocative works (If you click on aiweiwei.com, no page will load: it’s a very real example of what censorship means. )
Weiwei’s artwork spans many media, and blends politics and art in profoundly moving ways. His simple ethos:
If you don’t speak out and you don’t clear your mind, then who are you?
Life is never guaranteed to be safe.
This succinct excerpt from PBS’s Frontline is a fine introduction to AiWeiwei. It is the work of Alison Klayman, who followed the artist for several years before making a feature-length Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
If you don’t have time to view it now, it’s worth bookmarking for later in the day.