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Artists as Writers: Genre: Writing about Politics

Genre: Politics

This section contains artist writing that discusses political issues.

Artists on this page:

Ai Weiwei: Writing and Interviews About Politics

Writing about politics: Books

The White Cover Book. Eds. Ai Weiwei & Zeng Xiaojun. Beijing: Red Flag Books,1995.
Politically-oriented content, including works by contemporary Chinese artists and interviews with Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer

The Grey Cover Book. Eds. Ai Weiwei & Zeng Xiaojun. Beijing: Red Flag Books, 1997
Politically-oriented content, including works by contemporary Chinese artists and interviews with Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer

Ai Weiwei's Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011.
Translations of Ai WeiWei's blogs. Accessible through OCADU.


Writing about politics: Articles

"Why I'll stay away from the opening ceremony of the Olympics." The Guardian (London UK) 7 Aug 2008: online. View article online.

"Happiness can't be faked: China has tried to create a fantasy image. But the false Olympics smiles aren't fooling anyone." The Guardian (London UK) 18 Aug 2008: 27. View article online.

"Gold is not the real measure of a nation." The Guardian (London UK) 25 Aug 2008: online. View article online.

"The China Paradox." Time International, suppl. SPECIAL REPORT: Heroes of the Environment 174.13 Oct 5, 2009.

"Conspiracy of Silence." Index on Censorship 38.4 (Dec 2009): 70-3.

"Our Duty is the Remember Sichuan." The Guardian (London UK) China at Crossroads series. 25 May 2009.  View article online.

"Built on False Foundations: China's Investigation into the Sichuan Earthquake has Exposed the Lies Underpinning the State." The Guardian (London UK) 26 May 2009: 31.

"Censors Can't Keep Up With the Web." Art AsiaPacific 64 (July/Aug 2009): 41. Available at OCADU.

"Google Gives Us Hope." Wall Street Journal Europe [Brussels] 10 Feb 2010: 14.

"Comment: David Cameron, as you visit China please listen to us." The Guardian (London UK) 08 Nov 2010: 31. View article online.

"The City: Beijing: Ai Weiwei Finds China's Capital is a Prison Where People Go Mad." Newsweek 158.10. Sep 5, 2011.

"Battle for the internet: China's censorship can never defeat the Internet." The Guardian (London UK) 16 Apr 2012: 26. View article online.

"To Live Your Life in Fear is Worse than Losing Your Freedom." The Guardian (London UK) 22 June 2012: 34. View article online.

"Microblogging In China." Art Asiapacific 78 (May/June 2012): 63. View article online.

"Ai Weiwei: 'Every day in China, we put the state on trial'" The Guardian (London UK) 15 Apr 2013. View article online.

"NSA surveillance: the US is behaving like China." The Guardian (London UK) 11 Jun 2013. View article online.


Interviews about politics

"Truth to Power." Index on Censorship 37.2 (May 2008): 20-34. Interview by Simon Kirby. View article online.

Art and Cultural Policy in China: A Conversation with Ai Weiwei, Uli Sigg and Yung Ho Chang. Wien ; New York: Springer, 2009.

"Ai Weiwei and Vito Acconci: On LIfe, Culture, and other Matters." Artpulse Magazine 12 April 2010. Interview by Alvaro Rodríguez Fominaya. View article online.

Paul-Émile Borduas: Writings about politics

Interview with Gilles Hénault, Combat, 1 Feb 1947.
An untitled interview published in a communist periodical.

Refus global. by Paul-Émile Borduas, Claude Gavreau, Bruno Cormier 1948.
Read "Refus Global" online or in English translation by Dan Taylor. The principle articles and manifesto by Borduas advocating the separation of Church and State in Quebec, especially for the arts. Also included in Écrits I (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1987, p. 327-363

"Refus global." Artscanada 35 no. 4 (Dec-Jan 1978-1979): 19-20.
An English translation authorized by Borduas by English poet Simon Taylor Watson

Projections Libérantes. Saint-Hilaire, Montreal: Mythra Mythe, 1949. Available at OCADU Library.
An autobiographical pamphlet that details Borduas' experiences that led up to the writing of Refus Global. Included in Écrits I (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1987, p. 393-479

Écrits/Writings 1942–1958. Translated by Francois-Marc Gagnon & Dennis Young. Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design ; New York: New York University Press, 1978. Available at OCADU Library.
This book includes Refus Global and Borduas' other writings regarding surrealism, transition from dominance of Ecole de Paris to New York School painting, regionalism in art, separatism in Canada

"Paul-Emile Borduas and Modernism: 'I Hate All Nationalisms,'" by François-Marc Gagnon. Artscanada 36.4 (Dec-Jan 1979-1980): 15-18.
Gagnon uses Borduas letters & documents that reveal Borduas' anarchistic stance and dislike of nationalism in art

Écrits I. Ed. André-G. Bourassa, Jean Fisette et Gilles Lapointe. Montreal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1987.
A collection of "public" writings.

Refus global et autres écrits. Ed. André-G. Bourassa & Gilles Lapointe. Montreal: Éditions de l'Hexagone, 1990.