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Art digest: how censorship and museum actionism change the world of art

And museum workers are against! We tell why the staff of the world's leading museums are indignant and what the short film by Chinese artist-dissident Ai Weiwei cut out from the film “Berlin, I love you”. We present an overview of news from the world of art that hit the main pages of the world media.

Ai Weiwei again came under censorship

A short film by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei cut out from the anthology "Berlin, I love you" without any notice to the creator. The artist accuses producers of censorship: Ai Weiwei, now living and working in Berlin, said that the producers are afraid of the reaction of the Chinese government.
Moreover, Ai Weiwei was the first artist who agreed to take part in the shooting of the world famous anthology. He began work on the film back in 2015, while he was still under house arrest in China. All preparation for the shooting was carried out on Skype. In the film, the artist spoke about his then-aged six-year-old son Ai Lao and his girlfriend, cinematographer Van Fen, living in Berlin.
In his official statement, Ai Weiwei focuses on how Chinese censorship, previously denounced by the Western world, penetrated into Europe. As an example, Ai Weiwei cites the Berlin Film Festival, where they showed only those Chinese films that, according to him, were thoroughly tested by the Chinese Censorship Commission. The explanation of what is happening, unfortunately, is too prosaic: the market relations, which are closely connected with Chinese investments all over the world today, are to blame. In an interview with the New York Times, the artist said that "the film was completely non-political" and that "it is sad to see how Western creators and institutions are so obviously subject to Chinese censorship."
Producers of the project Klaus Klausen and Edda Reiser were not slow in responding. According to the interview, and the Los Angeles Times, "they underestimated the strength of China" and "disappointed that they did not receive adequate support in the free world."
The film "Berlin, I love you" was released on February 8. The collection includes 8 short films authorship 11 directors. The critic as a whole accepted the film disapprovingly, believing that the film unconvincingly “reveals” Berlin and does not reflect the essence of this city.