With Flowers, Ai Weiwei Protests His Loss of Freedom

SinosphereDecember 30, 2013

艾未未用鲜花抗议旅行自由被剥夺

时报看中国2013年12月30日

Every morning the artist and dissident Ai Weiwei places fresh flowers in the basket of a bicycle outside his Beijing studio in a pretty protest at something serious: a government ban on his freedom to travel.

艺术家、异见人士艾未未每天早上都会在其北京工作室外的一辆自行车的车篮里放上鲜花,用这种漂亮的方式抗议一个严肃的问题:政府剥夺了他的旅行自由。

Last Monday, by the bluish-green door to his studio at No. 258 Caochangdi, bright orange and red African daisies were seen in the basket of the black Taiwanese Giant bicycle.

上周一,在他的草场地258号工作室的蓝绿色大门边,可以看到一辆黑色台湾捷安特(Giant)自行车的车篮里放着一束亮橙色和红色非洲雏菊。

The flowers have provided a burst of color against the gray Beijing sky, and Mr. Ai’s quirky form of protest is being talked about, with amusement, by other artists living and working nearby in the arts district not far from Beijing’s international airport.

花朵的鲜艳色彩在北京灰色的天空下显得很突出,在这个离北京国际机场不远的艺术区,在四周围生活和工作着的艺术家们纷纷饶有兴味地聊起这种怪诞的抗议形式。

A recent post on his Twitter feed read: “Since Nov. 30, 2013, every morning I am putting a bouquet of flowers in the basket of a bicycle outside the front door of the No. 258 Caochangdi studio until I win back the right to travel.” Then he noted the day the photograph was taken: “The 27th day, Dec. 26, 2013.”

近日他通过自己的Twitter帐号说:“从2013年11月30日开始,每天早晨,我在草场地258号工作室门外的自行车车篮中放置一束鲜花,直至我恢复自由旅行的权利。第31天,2013年12月30日。”

Earlier this month Mr. Ai told The New York Times: “My passport has been in the hands of the police for almost three years now,” adding, “I’ve lost my ability to travel.”

本月早些时候,艾未未对《纽约时报》说:“我的护照一直在警察手里,到现在都快三年了,”他说,“我没法出境。”

The artist, who has long angered the Chinese authorities with his outspoken politics and art, has not had a passport and has been barred from leaving the country since April 2011, when he was detained for 81 days on charges of tax evasion.

这位艺术家直言不讳的政治观点和艺术一直令当局十分恼怒,自2011年4月被以税务欺诈的罪名拘留81天以来,他一直没有护照,并被禁止离境。

His detention came the day after a major exhibition, “The Art of the Enlightenment,” financed by German companies and organizations and the German government, opened in Beijing. In the aftermath, some members of the German Parliament called for the exhibition to be shut down, saying it was ironic that the prominent artist should be detained so close to a major arts event that celebrated tolerance and humanism, according to the German television and radio station Deutsche Welle. The show remained open.

他被拘留之时正值一场由德国企业、机构和德国政府资助的大型展览“启蒙的艺术”(The Art of the Enlightenment)在北京开幕的第二天。据德国广播电视台德国之声(Deutsche Welle)报道,此后一些德国议员呼吁关闭展览,他们认为,就在离一场赞颂宽容和人道主义的重要艺术活动不远的地方,知名艺术家可以这样被拘禁,实为讽刺。展览最终照常进行。

Mr. Ai is still exhibiting outside China, including in the former prison on Alcatraz Island in California.

艾未未仍在国外举办作品展,包括在加利福尼亚州阿尔卡特拉斯(Alcatraz)岛上的一座废弃监狱内

The exhibition, which will open in September, will mark the first time the former penitentiary has been used to show the works of a major contemporary artist. Mr. Ai said he had never visited Alcatraz but was interested in exploring conditions in which individuals are stripped of basic human rights: “The idea of loss of freedom as a punishment raises philosophical questions,” he said in a telephone interview.

展览定于9月开幕,将是这座昔日的监狱首次用于展出一个重要当代艺术家的作品。艾未未说他从未去过阿尔卡特拉斯,但个体被剥夺基本人权时的状况是他想要探索的主题,在一次电话采访中,他说:“将丧失自由作为惩罚的这种概念引出了哲学问题。”

Mr. Ai is also participating in overseas events via video message. On Jan. 31 he will take part that way in a discussion at Transmediale, a festival of digital culture in Berlin, titled: “The Chinese Dream: The Doctrine and the Sexy.” (This writer will also be speaking.)

艾未未还会通过视频参与海外的活动。1月31日,他将以这种形式参与在柏林举行的数码文化活动转译媒体艺术节(Transmediale)的一场座谈,题为《中国梦:主义与性感》(The Chinese Dream: The Doctrine and the Sexy)。(本文作者也将进行发言。)

 

狄雨霏(Didi Kirsten Tatlow)是《纽约时报》驻京记者。