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Ai Weiwei: "maybe being powerful means to be fragile"
13 Oct 2011
BY MARTA COOPER

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been named the most powerful person in the art world in ArtReview magazine’s Power 100 poll, which rates the contemporary art world’s most influential figures.

In an interview with BBC World Service’s Global News, Ai said that he “didn’t feel powerful at all” and that he was still under a kind of detention. “Maybe being powerful means to be fragile,” he added, noting that the interview itself might land him in trouble.

Asked about the responsibility of artists, Ai said that he believed it was their duty “to protect freedom of expression, and to use any way to extend this power.” Despite the restrictions placed on him for his outspoken art and criticism of the Chinese government, Ai pledged he would continue to speak out.

Ai Weiwei BBC World Service Global News (mp3)

The artist behind the Bird’s Nest stadium, the site of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was released in June after being detained for more than 80 days by Chinese authorities for alleged economic crimes.

2 responses to “Ai Weiwei: “maybe being powerful means to be fragile””

  1. Virginia A. Jenkins says:

    Thank you for these words.

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