Ai Weiwei’s #Gunleg – The Current Political Trend, Art Activism

photo 1

The first thing I do when I wake up is groggily reach out for my iPhone for the time, my morning news updates, messages and emails…. AND what has become a vital part of my day, my INSTAGRAM feed. This is where I get my real news, most importantly including the THE CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF THE ART WORLD.

Naturally I assumed I would get a variety of posts when I woke up last week; however, what stared back at me from my rectangular mobile screen was a series of legs aimed like guns about to be fired into my retinas. I kept scrolling down, anxious for a family picture or a meal post, but all I kept getting were these limbs raised as if ready for WAR.

It took me a moment to realize it was the doing of NOTORIOUS Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, who posted the first picture wearing nothing than his underwear a traditional straw hat and sticking his leg out like a gun (pictured above), the artist created a visual stimulation that may address so many underlying factors, with the caption “Beijing Anti-terrorist Series”.

Naturally before overthinking this, I felt the need to JOIN IN. That evening, I took my first #gunleg photo and posted it on my Instagram, within 5 minutes, as I was checking for my followers responses, I realized that Ai Weiwei had reposted my picture. It literally made me jump with joy, as this LEGEND reposted my #GUNLEG.

photo 2

Here I am in my home in London with the artist being literally across continents, and within a space of minutes he has seen my picture and acknowledged it (see image above). Thus my OBSESSION began, and #GUNLEG is a current trend I have still not gotten enough of.

Being confined to one country has NOT stopped the artist from spreading his ideas globally. Like anyone living in our world, Weiwei took to SOCIAL MEDIA to create one of the fastest growing meme’s that may finally ‘out-post’ grumpy cat photos … This time it happens to be in the form of one of the FEW social media platforms that is UNBLOCKED and UNBANNED in China – Instagram. Now, you have the POWER to take politically charged selfles, and to get legit recognition for

Ever since several articles on the Guardian, Washington Post and BBC News to name a few have written articles trying to deduce Weiwei’s ultimate connotation, since his team have refused to respond to any inquiries. Some say it has drawn inspiration from The Red Detachment of Women, a state-sanctioned ballet that was famously shown to President Richard Nixon during his 1972 visit to China as a portrayal of women’s rise in the communist party. While others claim it is in direct correlation with the 25-year anniversary of the protests in the Tiananmen Square, satirically commenting on China’s onerous Cultural Control (The Guardian).

Although refusing to answer press questions, when pressed by the Washington Post, Weiwei replied with this ambiguous and rather mischievous answer: “It is a pure use of social media. To pick up public notions on mixed issues — the power to control individuals…terror, arms, many issues… to use the body as weapon,” he said. “You cannot do this with a novel or movie or in theater. It’s more like poetry… Some are so empty; some are so profound.”

photo 4photo 3

As we at CH say… Stand up for what you believe in. Follow your he(ART). Join the movement. Be PROACTIVE.

xx,

LZ

Advertisements

Richard Avedon: Fusing Fashion and Art

4cebb2cef797df55f952a2a8c65417e5

Richard Avedon, FASHION photographer turned ARTIST shows the DIVERSITY and COMPLEXITY of photography in his newest solo exhibition at Gagosian Gallery (Davies Street, London) which is currently on display until October 26th.  Avedon exhibits a collective of fashion photographs from his work between the 1960’s and 1970’s in “Avedon: Women”. These fashion photographs not only depict the BEAUTY of the clothes, but do something greater, or so I think. I think what makes this exhibit so INTERESTING and INNOVATING is his questioning of the role of photography and how it is used. He attempts to differentiate his photographs by breaking all the rules by portraying his models in motion -confident, vivacious, with a joie de vivre. The COUTURE clothing only accentuates these eccentric poses. Although these photographs can seem superficial and more fashion photography-like, Avedon cleverly and slyly evokes deeper meaning. Take Jean Shrimpton, evening dress by Cardin, Paris 1970’s (below).

5cd92f904fd27f8cf2e10a1beec94d4f

Sure it is a beautiful silk gown in motion, but is Avedon bringing more to the table? Is he referencing some sort of art historical reference say…Unique Forms Of Continuity in Space (below) by Umberto Boccioni.

h2_1990.38.3

What Boccioni did for Italian Futurist art sculptur e- attempting to bring the MOVEMENT to the medium of sculpture is what Avedon does for photography. He brings a certain DYNAMISM, which rethinks the medium of photography from being still and motionless to active and forceful. The cloths only highlight this movement as well as create a certain tension to the pieces. In a way he is self -contradictory in his works, intensifying the action through the draping of the clothing but capturing it in the stillness of the camera – makes you think right?

How fittingly appropriate for FASHION WEEK – eh?

PEACE OUT, K