"I still think the social function of art is that kind of negative aesthetic. Otherwise there’s no social function for it."
Filmed for the occasion of Armory Focus: China at The Armory Show 2014 in New York City, curator Philip Tinari reflects on the work of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Tinari, director of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing and curator of Armory Focus: China, notes Ai's fascination with artists Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol and the resulting influence upon the artist's work.
Ai Weiwei was first featured by Art21 in Season 6 (2012) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series, and has since appeared in episodes of Art21's Exclusive series, as well as in the premiere season of Art21's Artist to Artist series.
Philip Tinari began a partnership with Art21 in 2009, interviewing artist Cao Fei in Beijing for Season 5 (2009) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series. Tinari would again partner with Art21 to interview artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing for Season 6 (2012).
Armory Focus is a specially curated section of The Armory Show that highlights the artistic landscape of a chosen geographic region. For The Armory Show 2014, Philip Tinari curated Armory Focus: China, shining new light on the country’s contemporary cultural practice.
CREDITS | Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Interview: Eve Moros Ortega. Camera: Rafael Salazar. Sound: Ava Wiland. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Ai Weiwei. Archival Images Courtesy: Ai Weiwei and AW Asia. Thanks: Philip Tinari, The Armory Show, Christopher Mao, John Tancock, Chambers Fine Art, Taliesin Thomas, and Larry Warsh. Theme Music: Peter Foley. Original Ai Weiwei segment excerpted from Season 6 (2012) of the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" series. Additional Ai Weiwei footage excerpted from the Artist to Artist series film, Diana Al-Hadid at the 55th Venice Biennale. © Art21, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.