It gets a little sticky in art statements when protest art is the object of “lesser” important protest artist mimicking Ai Weiwei’s breaking another artist’s work. Where is the line? Great discussion going on about the values involved in art as political vs art as individual;
A “protest” at a Miami art museum raises some questions about what exactly art is, now.
On Sunday, a man called Maximo Caminero Miami-Dade Police Department has smashed an artwork by Ai Weiwei, one of the most famous artists of this century and a hero to many for his defiance of the Chinese state. Cue appalled face. But this is not such a simple story. Caminero’s proclaimed motive – that the Perez Museum in Miami should be showing local, not global, art – is pretty daft (I didn’t know they had Ukip in Florida), but he has accidentally punched a massive hole in the logic of contemporary art.
So – smashing art is interesting if an acclaimed global artist does it, and even if an art collector does it. But the guy who walks into a museum and smashes it is a vandal.
Could it be that smashing masterpieces is never interesting? That this illegal attack on art exposes the shallowness of the high end of contemporary art, where it’s cool to smash Han antiquities or doodle on Goya prints?
Ai Weiwei is courageous and eloquent but this incident and his response – for he has condemned the vandal – make me wonder about the rules of art right now. The reasons for condemning one destructive act and celebrating another don’t seem clear. Suddenly, the world’s most respected artist looks a bit conceptually fragile.
Go here for entire article; http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/feb/18/ai-weiwei-han-urn-smash-miami-art