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Jen Harvie: Performance of the Artist

Ai Weiwei: Roundtable

Special events

● Fully booked

Saturday 17 October 2015
3 — 4.15pm

This event has now ended

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Part of our

Ai Weiwei

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Ai Weiwei, Free Speech Puzzle, 2014.

Hand painted porcelain in the Qing dynasty imperial style, 32 pieces.. 51 x 41 x 0.8 cm. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio. Image courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio. © Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei not only makes things, he does things: he breaks things, he speaks out, he makes lewd gestures, he organises people, and he transforms environments. Join Professor Jen Harvie for a round-table discussion exploring the powerful political impacts of Ai Weiwei’s performative acts.

Ai Weiwei challenges state authoritarianism and repression. By breaking objects such as ancient Han dynasty urns, he questions condoned narratives of Chinese history and identity. Through music, videos, blogs, and tweets, he demands freedom of speech. Sticking his finger up at iconic international buildings in the photographic series Study of Perspective (1993–2005), he condemns state oppression everywhere. He provokes others to action, be they fellow activists who help gather the thousands of names of students killed in the massive 2008 Sichuan province earthquake, or state officials, who have incarcerated, fined, and charged him and bulldozed his studio.

In this round-table discussion we invite you to join Jen Harvie, Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance, to explore Ai Weiwei as activist and high profile persona, and consider how and why he uses performative acts to make interventions, change, and art.

This event invites audiences to participate in a round-table discussion in the intimate setting of the General Assembly Room. We encourage ticket holders to bring thoughts and perspectives to share with others and generate an informed debate with invited speakers.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Saturday 17 October 2015

3 — 4.15pm

The General Assembly Room, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts