Destroying art - part 1: Ai Weiwei! Or how to break a vase into a million

What vases can be broken and even necessary?From December 4 to March 16, the “According to what?” Exhibition by contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is held at the Miami Museum of Art named after Perez. And, obviously, everyone is just waiting for the artist to throw out the next issue. However, this time, Weiwei didn’t have to do anything special. This is what happened: a certain man came to the Perez Art Museum Miami Art Museum and smashed a $ 1 million vase, made by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, on the floor.

Installation "Bicycles forever", which could be seen last summer in Kiev Pinchuk Art Center.

Museum keepers called the police, who found out: the bully is none other than the 51-year-old local artist Maximo Caminero, who is quite famous in these parts. Caminero told the New York Times that he did not know about the value of the vase and, of course, regrets that it happened. “It was a spontaneous protest,” he explains. - I was in a museum and saw photos of Ai Weiwei behind vases, into which he breaks an ancient Chinese vase. And I took it as a provocation of the artist to join his performance. ”Caminero also explained that he wanted to draw public attention to the fact that many foreign artists, like himself, have lived here for decades, but they have been ignored and deprived of support from local museums. . “We all pay taxes,” he continues. “And Peres Museum spent 200 million public money on its construction and put Weiwei at the opening to attract attention, while continuing to ignore local artists.” Amazing thing: Ay Weiwei broke the Han dynasty vase - and became the most influential art persona; Kaminero crashed Ai Weiwei's vase ... and probably will go to jail. Ii Weiwei himself went to his success for a long time, but became world-famous once at a time (the 2012 film “Never apologize” played a big role for wide popularity). Owing to his dissident rather than artistic activity, the authorities of his native China began to oppress the artist and soon repressed. Impressive figures of the art community from around the world, as well as a huge number of caring art connoisseurs, stood up for Weiwei. As an artist, Ai Weiwei experienced the great influence of pop art and conceptualism. Given the “context” of his country, he often turns to political topics, often criticizing the authorities. In general, the name Ai Weiwei itself is a synonym for provocation. The artist made a name for himself in China (before that, he lived in the USA for a long time), “processing” precious Chinese artifacts: in fact, as part of one of the performances, he purposely dropped the Han dynasty urn on the ground (it, of course, was broken). On another ancient vase, he painted the Coca-Cola logo. You can reflect on the artistic value of such actions, but you can not deny the resonance: in 2011, ArtReview magazine put Ay Weiwei in the first place in the list of "One hundred most influential people in the art world."

“Colored Vases”, Ai Weiwei, 2006–2012
Part of the installation, including photos with Ai Weiwei, breaking the vases.

But back to the unlucky Caminero: “I picked up a vase and let it break on the floor, just as Weiwei did in his photo. Then I waited peacefully for the police and did not resist the punishment. But I really did not know about the value of the vase. I respect Ai Weiwei very much and always supported his actions when the Chinese government humiliated him. ” For the crime committed, Maximo Kaminero faces up to 5 years in prison.