Just as Ai Weiwei was detained in Beijing, Alison Klayman was working to finalize her years-in-the-making documentary on Ai’s life and his recent political outspokenness. I haven’t seen the full film, but it apparently received a standing ovation at its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend.
“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” is something I’m looking forward to, but for now we can still see the Frontline version, a new New York Times excerpt, and Ali’s piece on Ai’s time in New York.
In the spirit of the year of the dragon, here’s a picture of 2008 fireworks at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing, a building designed by Ai.
Chinese New Year 2008 at Three Shadows, by Graham Webster
Just a note to remember that tonight marks the debut of the abbreviated version of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a biopic/documentary about one of China’s most internationally prominent artists. Rumor has it that video will be available online soon after.
The film has been the recent work of Alison Klayman and others. I posted links to trailer video previously. I was happy to get a chance to catch up briefly with Ali in New York over the weekend, just back from finalizing the Frontline version in Boston. Very glad to see this coming out!
In other Ai Weiwei news (new to me at least), some of his images in which he shows a finger to iconic locations are on display in the photography section of the Museum of Modern Art. After the jump, an image I made, and Ai Weiwei’s response on Twitter. (Not safe for very conservative workplaces.)
I never got around to noting the exciting future release of Alison Klayman’s documentary on the life of artist Ai Weiwei, though far more prominent writers did. But today I found just a taste of her work from an exhibition last year of Ai’s photographs while living in New York between 1983 and 1993. The 20-minute documentary describes the process of winnowing down 10,000 photographs to less than 250, and features Ai’s reflections on his time there, as well as his working process with curator Stephanie Tung. The Three Shadows co-founder Rong Rong also describes the urge to open for the first time Ai’s box of negatives from New York. (Both Alison and Stephanie are friends of mine, but I would note this nonetheless.)
Here’s the documentary, and check out Ali’s other work on her site. Also available are versions of the doc with Chinese and English subtitles. See also a short video posted on The New Yorker‘s website.
[[Edit: Apparently I can’t embed this video here. Click here for the video on her site, or here for the video on Vimeo.]]