Arendt Center's Wyatt Mason, with moving account of Ai Weiwei01-09-2012
Wyatt Mason's The Danger Artist is currently featured as the #1 "single" on Amazon's ebook Singles page. Mason, the Senior Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College, traveled to Beijing to learn about the Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The Danger Artist is his moving and provocative account.
Mason covers Ai Weiwei's politics, gives even more attention to his activism, and his art. But The Danger Artist is really about what it means to live truthfully and vigorously in modern day China and, by extension, the modern world more generally. It is a gripping account.
In The Danger Artist you are privy to evocative accounts of modern Beijing and learn about Chinese politics. But most of all you get to hear Ai Wei Wei speak, as in this quote Mason offers from Ai Wei Wei's twitter feed. Twitter has a distinct advantage in Chinese, as each of the 140 available characters expresses an entire word. Hence Ai Wei Wei tweeted this, semi-masterpiece, as he was recovering from a police beating:
Choices after waking up: 1. To live or to die? 2. To be true or to lie? 3. To be lively or to decay? 4. To love or to be forsaken? 5. To be wise or to be idiotic? 6. To smile or to be humiliated? 7. To denounce or to celebrate? 8. To be more courageous or to be more fearful? 9. To take action or to be brainwashed? 10. To be free or to be jailed? [September 5, 2009 08:50:36]