Ai Weiwei Speaks with Hans Ulrich Obrist

I recently read this book. There were a few things that stood out to me. First of all, learning more information about his ceramic works was very interesting because I had only ever seen pictures of them not actually read up on it. The balsiness of taking such sentimental items and completely transforming them to your own is very inspiring. It is also very poignant considering the similar things that took place during the cultural revolution – something that Ai Weiwei himself did.

What really struck me – and I have since heard that it has been said many times before – but I don’t think that matters because this is the first time I have heard it – was a quote that went something along the lines of “I had to do it because I hate it.” I realised I subconsciously do this the whole time. I hate hair, I always worry that there are hairs in my food and I have developed quite a phobia about it. I have, however, recurrently used hair in pieces of work that I do. I decided to run the marathon based on this idea as well. It is very interesting because hate is as powerful an emotion as love and is as relevant to human life and society as love is. I think artists, myself included, tend to avoid it for obvious reasons, not always but I think sometimes. In the developed state that Fine Art is in now it doesn’t make sense to avoid it. It must be explored and I would like to do this more. This ties into the thoughts that I had in my previous blogpost about inflicting pain on a person for art’s sake. The problem with working with things that one hates is that generally the end result, if it is successful in the artist’s point of view, is something that we do not hate but admire or are happy with. I wonder if there are interesting ways to explore producing work that in the end one hates. However, if one were to complete this task successfully they would probably like that and thus not hate it. I will think about a way around this.

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