The Cairo Review Summer 2014 Features Mobility of Art
Chinese artist and public intellectual Ai Weiwei discusses the global impact of art and the future of China in an interview with The Cairo Review of Global Affairs. Speaking at his home studio in Beijing, Ai Weiwei, hailed by ArtReview magazine as the most powerful artist in the world, decried censorship. “By censoring information, they are shortening people’s lives, cheating young people,” he said. “They are limiting young people’s ability to obtain adventures in life. No way to find passion, courage, imagination. They do not give you enough to change your perspective as a human being.” Ai Weiwei called true globalization a chance for people from any place and any economic, political or religious background to examine the world in a more common language and confront things. “This is a moment, which may lead to new thinking, new order or new understanding of human behavior,” he said. The interview with Ai Weiwei is part of Special Report: Mobility of Art in the Summer 2014 edition of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy’s quarterly journal. It includes an essay by the Egyptian artist known as Ganzeer, who describes the emergence of Concept Pop, a form he says deploys popular aesthetics to deliver meaningful messages to the masses. Another essay by scholar Nadia Radwan studies Egyptian public art from the time of independence leader Saad Zaghloul to the Tahrir Square uprising. “The cult of personality of political leaders was replaced by the glorification of the portraits of Egyptian citizens: the martyrs,” she writes. Radwan’s piece is illustrated by stencil graffiti by AUC Associate Professor of Practice Bahia Shehab from her A Thousand Times No visual series. The Mobility of Art contains other essays by international experts, including: David Joselit, professor of art history at the City University of New York; Partha Mitter, art historian and professor at the University of Sussex; and Joobin Bekhrad, editor of Reorient magazine on contemporary Middle East arts. To read Special Report: Mobility of Art visitwww.thecairoreview.com.