Monday, September 10, 2012

Tang Dynasty Times on Ai Weiwei's destruction of things..
Heidegger insisted that the way works of art "work" is to articulate and illuminate the underlying understanding of being of a particular culture orworldview; and that this is the function of art--to reflect back to us our understanding of being (lichtung). And with that in mind, it was Ai Weiwei's final project with vases that really made an impression on me. Called Dust to Dust, in this series, Ai took neolithic-age pottery and ground the ancient pots to dust. And then, recalling the way human remains were stored in funerary jars, Ai puts the dust of these old pots inside clear glass jars from Ikea--like someone keeping the remains of their parents in an old funerary jar in their garage, it somehow speaks so sadly about cultural and familial values unravelling (the ikea jars even standing as a strong symbol for the leveling tendancies of globalization where, Everything gets lumped together into uniform distancelessness).
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