Ai Weiwei

  • Ai Weiwei

    WARHOL COULD NEVER have predicted that we’d get to this point. I’m on Twitter, and so are you, and so is the president of the United States. Twitter has changed the configuration of culture, as have the Internet and social networking more generally, of course. It used to be that in order to have the same opportunities as the president to make yourself heard, you had to have wealth and connections. In the future it won’t be that way, although the old power structure will still exist, and its defenders will fight hard. In fact, they’re already fighting. They are unhappy about people exchanging

  • ART AND ITS MARKETS: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

    EVEN AS GOLD rises and the dollar falls, the expansion of the global art market shows few signs of reversal. This growth has been characterized by incredible immediacy, liquidity, and transparency—but also by inequity, archaic ritual, and social spectacle. Indeed, the economy of art is now both wildly speculative and idiosyncratically regulated, with unparalleled levels of attention devoted to the work of contemporary artists. What are the diverse factors that have contributed to this radical extension of interest and investment in the art of our day? And to what extent have these elements either transformed or reinscribed historical relationships among art’s audiences, institutions, collecting practices, and criticism? How might we best distinguish our present moment from previously bullish episodes and their attendant redefinitions of the aesthetic and the commoditized?
     
    From the fiscal to the formal, multiple arenas of knowledge are implicated in answering such questions. With this complex set of interrelationships in mind, Artforum invited a cross-section of figures—ranging from collector and curator to art historian and auction-house expert—to discuss the ways in which different kinds of value accrue to works of art and affect their production, display, and circulation: Ai Weiwei, Beijing-based artist; Amy Cappellazzo, international cohead of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s; Thomas Crow, professor of modern art at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; Donna De Salvo, chief curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Isabelle Graw, a founding editor of Texte zur Kunst and professor of art history and theory at Städelschule Art Academy in Frankfurt; Dakis Joannou, collector and president of the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece; and Robert Pincus-Witten, scholar and critic, and former director of exhibitions at L & M Arts in New York. Scholar and critic James Meyer and Artforum editor Tim Griffin moderate the discussion.

    THE GLOBAL BOOM

    James Meyer: The extraordinary boom of the contemporary market in recent years, along with the globalization of art’s production and display—two related phenomena—are among the most pressing subjects in any discussion of current practice. The history of modernism is in part a history of the marketing of the new. The Peau d’Ours sale in 1914, which brought a record price for Pablo Picasso’s Family of Acrobats [1905]; the first Parke-Bernet auction of contemporary art in 1965, which featured Abstract Expressionist painting and sculpture; and the sale of the Scull Collection

  • PRODUCTION NOTES

    RONI HORN

    IN 1980 I WANTED a closer relationship to the sun, and to get that I decided to make a gold field. I found an engineer at Engelhard Precious Metals in Massachusetts who helped me figure out how to produce a gold mat of four by five feet. It needed to be as thin as possible. It needed to hold together as an object, and it needed to be one hundred percent pure gold. This meant no glue. We came up with a thickness of six ten-thousandths of an inch, which is considerably thinner than a human hair. I was happy about this because it made the object pretty much all surface. We figured out that