Ai Weiwei co-curates shocking exhibition in the Netherlands – picture feast



Prepare to be shocked for a second time, if not by the exhibition title then certainly by the artworks.

Ai Weiwei co-curates “FUCK OFF 2″, a sequel of the exhibition that surprised viewers and outraged governmental censors thirteen years ago in Shanghai. With part two, the newly assembled group of Chinese contemporary artists show that bloody performances, simulated sex and government repression can still provoke art audiences.

He Yunchang, 'One Meter of Democracy', 2010, performance. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

He Yunchang, ‘One Meter of Democracy’, 2010, performance. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

The Groninger Museum in Groninger, the Netherlands, is hosting the exhibition “FUCK OFF 2″, (from 26 May to 17 November 2013) curated by artist and activist Ai Weiwei, art critic Feng Boyi and Mark Wilson, Chief Curator of the Groninger Museum.

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2012 photography. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Ren Hang, Untitled, 2012, photography. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Cheng Li, 'Human right contract, art whore', 2011, performance. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Cheng Li, ‘Human right contract, art whore’, 2011, performance. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

The exhibition includes 37 Chinese artists and artist groups whose contemporary works of art reflect on the state of China today.

Mark Wilson is quoted in Radio Netherlands Worldwide stating that part of Ai Weiwei’s appeal is his activism and critical stance against the Chinese government. Wilson discusses one of the key themes of the exhibition: “activism plays a central role. The works are a response to the fact that people in China are (still) not free to do as they wish.”

Wu Junyong, 'Don't be Silent', 2011, illustration. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Wu Junyong, ‘Don’t be Silent’, 2011, illustration. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

The show’s predecessor, the 2000 “FUCK OFF” exhibition of 46 artists curated by Ai Weiwei and Feng Boyi, was an alternative exhibition to the Shanghai Biennale and was held at Eastlink Gallery, near Suzhou Creek.

ZOO X (Zuoxiao Zuzhou), 'People And Stories Around Us' (detail), 2010, photography. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

ZOO X (Zuoxiao Zuzhou), ‘People And Stories Around Us’ (detail), 2010, photography. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

The current exhibition’s Chinese title, “不合作方式”, means “Uncooperative Approach”, but the curators preferred the bold in-your-face English translation.

According to Randian, the scandalous exhibition was closed down by China’s Cultural Inspection Bureau, which objected to several controversial works, such as Xu Tan‘s sexually explicit photo installation, Yang Fudong‘s The First Intellectual, and the notorious documentation “Eating People“, which showed artist Zhu Yu cannibalizing a dead infant.

Ye Haiyan, 'Free Sex', 2011, performance. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Ye Haiyan, ‘Free Sex’, 2011, performance. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

“FUCK OFF 2″ has no human body parts, but the angst of living in a repressive society is still a major concern for many of the Chinese artists and is prevalent in their works.

Xia Xing, 'Struggle' (detail), 2012-2013, oil on canvas. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Xia Xing, ‘Struggle’ (detail), 2012-2013, oil on canvas. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Even though the current exhibition will probably not be shut down by any governmental authorities, the museum still felt it necessary to post a warning: “The FUCK OFF 2 exhibition includes images that could be considered shocking.”

Lin Zhipeng, Untitled, 2012, photograph. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Lin Zhipeng, Untitled, 2012, photograph. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Participating artists:

Zhang Dali, 'Second History', 2005, photograph. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Zhang Dali, ‘Second History’, 2005, photograph. Image courtesy Groninger Museum.

Susan Kendzulak

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Related Topics: Chinese art, groups and movements, political art, museum shows, picture feasts

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Comments

Ai Weiwei co-curates shocking exhibition in the Netherlands – picture feast — 2 Comments

  1. Good art works by Ai Weiwei. These few works shown here demonstrate the cruelest and most destructive human experiences in modern times which the artist has witnessed.

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