Ai Weiwei: The Liberty of Doubt
Published by Ridinghouse/Kettle's Yard.
Introduction by Andrew Nairne, Elizabeth Brown. Text by John Tancock, James J. Lally, Ai Weiwei. Interview by Andrew Nairne, Elizabeth Brown.
The acclaimed artist, dissident and author of 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows juxtaposes new and recent works with historical Chinese objects
Exploring notions of truth, authenticity and value, as well as globalization, the coronavirus pandemic and the current geopolitical crisis, internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (born 1957) presents new and recent works alongside historical Chinese objects in this catalog for the artist’s show at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK. Ai reflects on liberty in the West, in contrast to China and other authoritarian regimes, to question truth and authority, express doubt and seek transparency in political matters. In aesthetics, the Chinese have a long tradition of a more fluid and less fixed view of authenticity than is the case in the West, often valuing the act of copying, which Ai also explores here.
The Kettle’s Yard exhibition marks the first time that the artist has juxtaposed historical Chinese objects—some of which are from his own collection—with his own works. Also included here are a new interview with the artist and a statement by him on human rights.