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王军 艺术

Wangjun Performance Art

 
 
 

日志

 
 

纽约时报:Chinese Artist Takes a Stand  

2011-07-02 23:21:57|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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                        纽约时报:Chinese Artist Takes a Stand - 王军 艺术 - 王军 行为艺术

 

BEIJING — After 10 hours of questioning and 7 more locked up alone in an interrogation room, Wang Jun was shown the door of a police station on Thursday night and given some parting instructions: Keep your name off the Internet, move to another part of town and do not talk to anyone but yourself.

Wang Jun, an artist and curator, on Friday in the galleries of 798, a contemporary art center in a former factory complex in Beijing.


But just a few hours later, Mr. Wang, a 28-year-old artist and curator, was sitting at a cafe in the capital’s 798 Arts District and spilling the beans to friends and a foreign journalist. “They’re trying to turn me from a normal, useful person into a nonentity,” he said with a sigh. “I can’t let that happen.”

Mr. Wang’s best-known work consists of self-portraits that show him weighed down by bricks, buried in snow or draped in bills of China’s currency, the renminbi. He was detained this week because an arts festival that he helped organize included a cryptic reference to Ai Weiwei, the artist, architect and social critic who has been in police custody for two months on suspicion of tax evasion.

Although Mr. Wang’s role in the Incidental Art Festival was limited to poetry and music, the authorities said he bore responsibility for the festival’s visual arts component, which included a vacant white wall graced with Mr. Ai’s name. The festival, which opened on Thursday afternoon, was shut down the next morning.

Two other organizers were also questioned and released on Thursday, but domestic security agents seem to have singled out Mr. Wang for punishment.

After his release, he arrived home to find an eviction notice from his landlord. Later, when he went to his favorite restaurant for dinner, the owner asked him to leave before he could finish his meal. “He told me I had to leave immediately and never come back because I had become politically sensitive,” Mr. Wang said.

His predicament highlights just how toxic the name Ai Weiwei has become here — and the extent to which the authorities will go to punish anyone remotely associated with a man who was once chosen to help design Beijing’s Olympic stadium. Four of the artist’s friends and associates, including his driver, accountant and an assistant, are still missing, and news about Mr. Ai and the international outcry over his detention has been effectively scrubbed from the Internet in China.

“There is so much fear right now in Chinese society that even the police are terrified, which is why they are behaving this way,” said Wu Qifei, an events planner who was not involved in the banned festival.

One of the 19 artists who did take part, Wen Jie, said he found the turn of events preposterous, given that the content — save for Mr. Ai’s phantom presence — was so strenuously apolitical. “China is becoming a surreal place,” said Mr. Wen, 30, who stopped by the cafe to comfort his friend — and advise him to leave town.

Mr. Wang, a soft-spoken man, was not entirely able to articulate why he was so wantonly defying the authorities. “I know nothing good can come of this,” he said quietly.

But he suggested that the police had thrust him over the edge by orchestrating his eviction and making sure he was unemployed. “I no longer have any means to support myself,” he said.

Last year, after the photograph of him swaddled in 100-yuan notes went viral, the police warned him that he was courting trouble. In April, he was detained for the first time after sending out an invitation to a “public sunbathing” event that he acknowledged was meant to commemorate the disappearance of Mr. Ai. A few days later he lost his job as the editor of a monthly arts magazine, he said.

As he sipped a cup of tea, Mr. Wang said Mr. Ai’s detention and the continuing crackdown on dissent that began in February had accentuated a growing chasm between established artists unwilling to upset the government and young upstarts unwilling to compromise their ideals.

“Everything you see out there,” he said, nodding to a row of galleries, “is just an illusion.”


Li Bibo contributed research.


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