Ai Weiwei: Under Construction
Campbelltown Art Centre NSW, May-June 2008
curated by Dr Charles Merewether
I felt like Bart Simpson with a swimming pool of spit, a bandaid and a clump of dog-hair on my hand after I shook it with Ai Weiwei’s. (I told James and Hao that I wouldn’t wash it for a week, but I washed it that night back at the motel. Extremes that are easy in cartoons don’t translate so well back to life.) Having spent so much time in thinking and writing about Ai and what he does, and then coming face to face with them, there was a great imbalance, or inequality, so there was nothing to say. I told him I felt like I knew him; he told me he liked my dress, and then the natural thing was to move on.
(Later, an awkward but sincere government minister got up and spoke about being honoured and blessed to be in his presence: yes!)
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