New developments on Ai Weiwei’s tale at UCCA

Some weeks ago Ai Weiwei removed his work from the upcoming show at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing when he saw that he hadn’t been named in the press release, as a result of the reigning cencorship against him in China today.

On June 2nd Ai Weiwei posted to his Instagram account the transcript of the conversation with the director of UCCA Philip Tinari, that I found in an interesting article published by Shanghaiist.

Ai: […] You know, you don’t have to have me. I don’t need to have an exhibition. I don’t like these dirty deals, under the table, everybody understands.
Philip: Ok. It was not. Your name was all over, it was all over the exhibition, it was the stupid press release.
A: Come on, I don’t want my name to be all over the exhibition. The press release is the public announcement. The most important, you know?
P: [it’s not the] most important, you know, I think the show is the most important.
A: You don’t think a public release is important? As a curator? You know all the press gets the same information. All the public gets the same information. I don’t want you to show me under the table.
P: It’s not under the table the name is right there next to it.
A: So you think it’s justified?
P: I think my boss made a decision that she had to make because she was being threatened and it wasn’t my—
A: —She called me and said that you and her discussed and agreed to take my name down.

A: […] You guys just self-censor and you try to…I don’t know what you’re trying to do.
P: […] It’s not self-censoring.
A: It’s not self-censoring? So what are you doing then?
P: Asked by the management of 798.
A: Well your boss told me it’s a self-censor, she decided and then discussed with you and you also agreed with it…I’m very disappointed.
P: I know you are…and I’m sorry.
[…] I have to think…I can’t get the museum shut down on my watch.
A: Come on, you’re over-stating this. I know and I’m not criticizing you, we are still friends.
P: It’s a decision I’m not allowed to make. You know, I’m a stupid foreigner, I shouldn’t even be in China, right? I know that’s what you probably think. But like, I’m dong what I try to do, and it’s the best I can do.
A: You’re young, you don’t have to do this. You have a bright future, you don’t have to ruin yourself with this Chineseness. You don’t have to do it!

Read the full article on Shanghaiist


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