April 26th, 2011 / 4:36 am

Some Ort Stuff


Great essay about James Frey and his new “art” book from Art in America.

On another, much sadder note, the (total badass) artist and activist Ai Weiwei has been detained by Chinese authorities for “tax evasion, bigamy and spreading indecent images on the internet.” Since early this year the media in China has portrayed him as a “deviant and a plagiarist” which is maybe the most direct thing that can be said of the role of an artist. While it is possible that Ai knew he was going too far by offering the above photo (and many other nudes with many other people) to Chinese authorities with the caption『草泥马挡中央』 a double-entendre meaning both “the central grass mud horse” (in China that alpaca is an internet meme named Cao Ni Ma, which is a pun) and “Fuck your mother, Communist Party Central Committee” (I’m sure they deserved it), you can sign a petition for the release of Ai Weiwei right here, via the Guggenheim. I don’t know if petitions really matter much in dealing with a government that clearly does not believe in freedom of expression and so on (though I do not know if they do much good in my country either), but anyway there you go.

This is Ai’s map for “a fake editorial”:

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  1. Joseph Young

      good to see the support weiwei is getting, including vaclav havel.

  2. James Cancer

      The Final Testament of the Holy Cancer

      “a beautiful Cancer. The longest running fraud in human history.”

      “doesn’t respect my Cancer.”

      (“When James approached us, he was very specific about limiting the number of Cancers we published,” )

      (“Our idea was, if we print limited editions, and make them look really special, rare Cancer collectors are going to appreciate them,”)

      “As a Cancer, you dream about being able to Cancer
      a Cancer, make it what you want and release it the way you want,”

      “the look and feel of a contemporary Cancer,”

      “like bibles read in the Cancer Belt,”

      “this is a Cancer, and we should present it in the same way,”

      (“In some ways, James is being even more provocative in the Cancer world than he is in the world of literature,” )

      “There’s walls to be broken down in how Cancers are written, produced and distributed,”

      “I have always said that Cancer has influenced me in much more profound ways than writing has.”

      “looking at Cancer, and figuring out how it made me feel,”

      “Cancer of Cancer was one of the books that whipped me up,”

      “I was very much thrown out. Publishers were canceling contracts. A lot of other Cancers spoke out against me. And I definitely moved more and more into the Cancer world, with no thought of the book world except, ‘Fuck it.'”

      “Whenever I have an extra penny, I spend it on Cancer,”

      “a small community of people, a series of orbiting Cancers,”

      new Cancer-world pals,

      “It was really about doing something unconventional,”

      “It’s become mostly Bill’s Cancer,”

      he’s forcing an apt and perennially urgent question: What is Cancer?

      “All of the Cancers I have ever loved over the course of history have been Cancers who get blasted by critics,”

      “Richard Cancer is an easy example. I talk to him all the time about Cancer and books, and we always laugh about how you get blasted because people don’t necessarily understand you’re Cancer. Getting blasted, to me, is a sign I’m doing it right. The best Cancer of any medium—whether it’s painting, sculpture, music or Cancer—is always pressing against convention. And if you’re doing that, there’s going to be resistance.”

      “outside the U.S. I haven’t had the same issues about how I Cancer, or the ambiguity of what I do.”

      “I want the world to know that the Cancer I play is never the same after I finish playing it, that after the greatest Cancer or the greatest Cancers are done, the world isn’t the same.”

      “I don’t have a messiah complex,”

      “I’m just a Cancer who writes Cancer.”

  3. deadgod

      The Cancers between Cancer and Cancer are so cancerlessly cancerous anycancer.

  4. STaugustine
  5. jackie wang

      i saw ai weiwei”s huge sunflower seed installation at tate recently–that’s unfortunate that the chinese government arrested him (again?). i was surprised by how non-offensive–even sympathetic–his tate installation was toward the communist government…since he’s known for being so inflammatory and all.

      i heard you met dodie bellamy. sweeett.

  6. Kathleen
  7. reynard

      yeah i did meet her she was a sweeeettheartt

      i’m jealous that you saw that i have tried to imagine it, but definitely i think his work flies in the face of the government, i mean i am far from an expert on the subject and i am trying to learn more and i am very interested in early chinese literature, but basically the gist i get is that he is very concerned with the relationships listed in his map for a ‘fake editorial’ and i think that even goes into the sunflower thing, rushdie wrote a great piece on it in the times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/opinion/20Rushdie.html

  8. reynard

      thanks kathleen but i don’t think jackie suggested that, i think she was speaking of the sunflower piece in particular

  9. reynard

      joseph i want to read your book but i’m broke will you send it to me, i’ll send you a piece of my room back or maybe i’ll make a collage for you or something, reynard dot seifert at gmail dot com

  10. Anonymous

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  11. Anonymous