AI Weiwei Lets You Raise His Middle Finger to Whatever You Want
In celebration of his upcoming exhibition “Ai Weiwei: Making Sense” at the Design Museum.
Ai Weiwei has collaborated with Avant Arte to put his middle finger in the public domain. In celebration of his upcoming major design-focussed exhibition “Ai Weiwei: Making Sense” at the Design Museum, the partnership has launched a new artwork that invites everyone to share their own perspective on his seminal series “Study of Perspective,” which investigates power structures, censorship and freedom of expression.
The process is easy; users can navigate the world on Avant Arte’s website and add a location of their choice as the background of Weiwei’s outstretched arm. They can then download high-resolution copies and share them on social media with the hashtag #studyofperspective. The option to submit their take on the series to be on display on the website is also available.
As part of their partnership, Ai Weiwei and Avant Arte have also collaborated on a 24-hr series of limited edition silkscreen prints titled “Middle Finger in Red.” The work reinterprets WeiWei’s exploration of “Study of Perspective” through a drawing of his arm, middle finger and profile. 65% of all proceeds from these sales will fund the future work of the Design Museum.
Ai Weiwei shared via a press release: “I think we often forget we have the middle finger. Or, even when we know we have the middle finger, we are misusing it. So, I think it’s a good idea to see that part of your body can point to something, or an institution, or someone who resembles power, and just to let them know and to let yourself know that you exist, and to be yourself for that moment is very crucial.”
Meanwhile, Tim Marlow, CEO and Director at the Design Museum, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Avant Arte for the very first time. Not only will this exciting project bring the work of Ai Weiwei to even more people around the world, but it will also help to support the future of the museum. The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum of contemporary design, but we are also a charity, so we rely on a range of income streams and philanthropy. In a challenging economic climate, high-impact fundraising opportunities like this are more valuable than ever.”
“Ai Weiwei: Making Sense” opens at the Design Museum in London on April 7 and runs until July 30. This is the first exhibition by the artist focusing exclusively on design and architecture and will be his biggest U.K. show in eight years.
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