14 May 2011

Anish Kapoor, Leviathan & Ai Weiwei

I know British sculptor Anish Kapoor exclusively because pictures of his work grace the covers of some recent CDs by the talented and intriguing pianist Vijay Iyer. Here are a couple of examples:

And here is an enthusiasm I posted a while back indicating why I think Iyer is an intriguing fellow. This is a guy I'd like to talk art and politics with some day. All that, however, is something of a diversion from the more pressing matter at hand.

Recently Kapoor has been in the news for having installed a massive sculpture at the Grand Palais (Paris). He calls the piece "Leviathan" which is appropriate in multiple ways; first because, like fantastic monsters of the deep, it swallows up visitors, but also, in a Hobbesian vein, because Kapoor has dedicated the sculpture to Ai Weiwei, the artist/provocateur who has been detained incommunicado by Chinese authorities for a month. Earlier posts on Ai, his arrest, and some of the response to his predicament are here. Like Kapoor, who urges habeas corpus on the Chinese authorities, The Guardian rightly asks: Where is Ai Weiwei?
P.S.1: I find it ironic that right-wing outlets, normally viscerally averse to the intermingling of art and politics, apparently find it wholly laudable in this instance. Need a good example? Read this missive from The Wall Street Journal.

P.S.2: This is a post that the blogger folks disappeared and that I have tried to reconstruct. It may differ from the the initial version in marginal ways.

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