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Ai Weiwei 'corpse' causes arty uproar in small town

The Local · 4 Nov 2011, 08:01

Published: 04 Nov 2011 08:01 GMT+01:00

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The face-down corpse that is supposed to look like the famous Chinese artist was displayed at a gallery in the 9,000 person town Bad Ems from October to November 1. Created by artist He Xiangyu, it was supposed to keep Ai in the headlines and honour his commitment to justice in an ironic way.

But townspeople were so disturbed by the sight visible through a window that they called police multiple times, with some mistaking it for a real corpse. One passer-by even made a formal complaint with police, complaining that the art had been made with plastinated human skin.

Prosecutors, however, said that the body wasn’t real and there was no indication of any criminal offence.

Ai’s well-known work has included everything from sculptures to being retained as a consultant for architecture during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

But he has also run afoul of Chinese authorities multiple times. He’s criticized the Olympics and helped investigate student deaths during a 2008 earthquake in China.

In April he was harassed and detained by the Chinese government on alleged tax evasion charges before being released on bail in the summer.

Story continues below…

His arrest sparked of criticism around the world, including in Germany where the Berlin University of the Arts offered him a guest professorship.

DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:47 November 4, 2011 by vonSchwerin
"One passer-by even made a formal complaint with police"

Hurrah for those Germans who neither tolerate modern art nor mind their own business.

Couldn't this bloke simply have gone into the gallery and inquired, "Pardon me, but can you explain that to me?" He would have learned that it's not a dead body or a heap of plasticized flesh. But no, he had to file a complaint with the police.
14:49 November 4, 2011 by Englishted
He is not dead he is pining for the great wall.
21:34 November 4, 2011 by The-ex-pat
14:49 November 4, 2011 by Englishted

He is not dead he is pining for the great wall............

Nice one Centurion, now conjugate the verb "to go".................
14:29 November 6, 2011 by Englishted

Glad someone got it, always look on the bright side of life.
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