Ai Wei Wei
"Everything is art. Everything is politics". In this Art Gallery Of Ontario exhibit this statement holds the truth of all it is, or at least all it seems to be. This statement however also encompasses everything one would expect knowing the work of this preeminent Asian artist, dissident and prisoner. I would like to take a different tack in looking at the monumental work on display.
As an artist myself I am overwhelmed with the aesthetic value and technical prowess of these objects, videos and installations. If I were to negate his triumphant story and look at the objects as art with an unknown message I come up with something very different. Take for example the very cleverly placed assemblage of wooden stools and bicycles. The stools are assembled using historically correct joinery methods, but further to that they are impossible to rest upon suggesting a world in constant and necessary motion. The bicycle installation placed a few yards away is assembled in a globe without welding but joining at natural points i.e. the ends of tubing bolted together. The pedals and seats are removed, stripping the most popular means of transport in China of there usefulness. Now we must rest and meditate on the trade name of the bicycles ,"Forever", inked on to the bicycle frames. Anyway we contemplate the work of Ai Wei Wei one cannot help but to stop and ponder our role on this earth in each of our short visits here.