Humanity and Ai Weiwei

Humanity: Ai Weiwei is edited by Larry Warsh and published by Princeton University Press. There’s also a website of the same name. The book is reviewed by Kosmas Tsokhas.

Kosmas previously reviewed Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei, a popular book edited Max Delany and Eric Shiner published by the National Gallery of Victoria in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

In the new book, Larry Warsh draws from interviews, magazines and podcasts to explain the motives and values behind Ai Weiwei’s dissident art:

Ai Weiwei tells us that because no artist can be self-contained, he feels that refugees are part of him and that he is part of them. He invites us to enter into a circuit of mutuality and empathy that involves a subject, an artist and an audience with consequences that go beyond the artistic situation. Once we have brought into effect mutuality and empathy, we have attained the “consciousness” (91) to bring mutuality and empathy into effect over and over again, in order “to share compassion with other people – otherwise, how can we call ourselves human beings?” (8).

The artist also replies to his critics on his work with refugees.

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