Opinion: Hanged bicycles (Ai Weiwei)

POSTED: 04/15/14 1:04 AM

The Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is a certified pain in the butt of the powers in Beijing. Now Weiwei has done it again: in the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum in Berlin he has hanged 150 Chinese bicycles. As with all of his projects, there is a message here. This time, Weiwei protests against the conviction of Yang Jia, a Chinese youngster who was sentenced to death for alleged bicycle theft in China.

Today the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum opens the largest Weiwei exhibition ever. Apart from the hanged (and not hung up) bicycles the museum shows wooden chairs, concrete rubble, marble doors and river crabs made of porcelain – all with their own Weiwei-message.

Part of the exhibition – aptly entitled Evidence – is a replica of the cell in which China’s most well-known artist was locked up for months.

The 56-year old Ai Weiwei is not present at the opening of the exhibition, because the authorities do not allow him to leave China.

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