This Christmas, give the gift of dissent thanks to Ai Weiwei’s latest publishing endeavor, “Weiwei-isms,” edited by Larry Warsh and available from Princeton UP, where it will retail for $12.95 when it hits shelves on December 12.
The small volume — whose design is intended to evoke a miniaturized version of the censors-evading “Black Cover Book,” “White Cover Book,” and “Gray Cover Book” that Ai published in China between 1994 and 1997 to acquaint China’s avant-garde artists with currents in international contemporary art — contains quotables from the internationally renowned artist culled from interviews, articles, and his irrepressible Twitter account.
Memorable quips and personal mantras, according to a press release announcing the forthcoming tome today, include “I wouldn’t say I’ve become more radical: I was born radical,” and “Everything is art. Everything is politics.”
“First, there was Confucius. Then, the sayings of Chairman Mao. And now the pithy, ironic, and humorous insights of Ai Weiwei,” New York University’s Jerome A. Cohen rhapsodizes in today’s press release. “I thoroughly enjoyed reading this collection, which reflects a well-developed philosophy as well as a keen understanding of the Chinese Communist system. This is China made easy and interesting.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Image courtesy Princeton University Press.)