Finishing off this week with some Ai Weiwei news, the story continues to develop. China says Ai’s arrest has nothing to do with freedom of expression, Ai’s rocker friend is returned following a disappearance, academy Chinese artist Xu Bing disavows a relationship with politics.
Court Rules Maine Labor Mural’s Removal Is Legal
Last friday, a federal judge denied a request to order Maine to return a mural to a state Labor Department office where it was removed last month. According to the ruling, the Maine governor’s order to remove the 36-foot-long mural in late March constituted government speech, or the right of government to say what it wishes regardless of the viewpoint expressed.
Mystery Donor Gifts Pica$$o to Fund Science
A vibrant Picasso painting, which has not been seen in public for six decades, was donated by an anonymous American under the condition that the University of Sydney sell the work to fund scientific research. [BBC]
Ai Weiwei Offered Berlin Professorship; Legal Case Looks Bad [UPDATE]
Though the artist remains arrested and his whereabouts and status are still unknown, Ai Weiwei has been offered a guest professorship at Berlin’s University of the Arts, the official position financed by the Einstein Foundation and supported by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. Meanwhile, NYU professor Jeremy Cohen writes that Ai’s legal case doesn’t look good.
2 Artists, 2 Coasts, Both in Jail for Graffiti
As LA’s MOCA tries to give graffiti and street art their moment in the Southern California sun, in New York LA II, aka Angel Ortiz, and in Los Angeles, Revok, aka Jason Williams, are in jail for doing the art they love.
1000+ Attend Hong Kong March for Ai Weiwei
Saturday’s HK March for #AiWeiwei drew 1000+. Photos by @wenyunchao yfrog.com/h2b1htcqj yfrog.com/h49azqunj http://yfrog.com/hs9z9gdj
Small Child Confused, Delighted by Kusama Dot Room
All art lovers have had those revelatory moments when visual art just blows our minds. It’s surprising, beautiful, provocative, painful, confusing and every kind of emotion at once. I think that’s what the small child in this video is feeling when he wanders into one of Yayoi Kusama’s infinite dot rooms. Also, it’s SO CUTE.
Hong Kong Media: Ai Weiwei Confessed to Tax Charges Under Torture [UPDATE 2]
Hong Kong news channel and media organization RTHK is reporting that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has confessed to tax charges under torture. The original article came from a reporter claiming to work for Xinhua, the state-run media mouthpiece of the Chinese government.
Chinese Twitter Bots Spam #AiWeiwei Hashtag
Internet users looking for information on Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s arrest will now find another roadblock put in their way, as Ai Weiwei-related hashtags are now being spammed by Chinese-language bots. Hashtags including #aiweiwei and #freeaiweiwei are being bombarded with semi-risque jokes and one-liners.
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Damaged in Arson Fire
On April 19, Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia Basilica, designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudi, caught fire. A fire burned inside the structure for over 45 minutes before firefighters could put it out, destroying the church’s sacristy and badly damaging the crypt.
Street Artist Space Invader Arrested in LA?
The Los Angeles Police Department caught and arrested two French nationals vandalizing buildings with “buckets of grout and pieces of tile” near the LA Museum of Contemporary Art’s Little Tokyo gallery this past Friday. One of the vandals seems to be the famed French street artist Space Invader, reports the LA Times.
War Photographer Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya [UPDATED]
War photographers help us witness pain, discover injustice and make sense of abstractions that are fed to us by our governments and leaders. They are the front line of image creators and they capture frightening, incredible, tender and unthinkable pictures that shock and enlighten us. Their jobs are very difficult but they are often soo good at it. Today, it was reported that photographer Tim Hetherington was killed in Misurata, Libya.