Watching the Watchers
DOI link for Watching the Watchers
Watching the Watchers book
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei continues to explore the themes of state-sponsored harassment, censorship, abuse, and neglect that have long been the driving force and focus of his art. Subject to imprisonment by the Chinese government for his outspoken views and for his projects that exposed various levels of government corruption, Ai Weiwei subsequently found himself the subject of continual surveillance by the state. He has used this experience to develop a body of work that uses the theme of state surveillance to draw further attention to the state’s own abuse of power. This chapter will explore the major themes of his art with a focus on his surveillance-themed projects such as sculpted marble CCTV cameras and elaborate Baroque and Rococo-styled wallpaper designs derived from images of security cameras, handcuffs, and other symbols of global repression, as well as his most recent projects, such as Good Fences Make Good Neighbors and his film Human Flow, which have focused on the global refugee crisis.