Went to the Ai Wei Wei exhibit at the AGO. Loved the art, hated the ideological pushiness. I know, I know: the personal is political, but I go to an art gallery for the esthetic pleasure, not for a lesson in political philosophy. Especially if it involves smashing Han dynasty pottery – tell me again, how does that differ from the Cultural Revolution? Oh, it's performance art.
So all that political activism at the AGO made it hard for me to focus, but I got it eventually. Ah, the smooth wood surfaces, the perfect fit! The dance of polished footstools, the rebar landscape – soul touching. But who smoothed the surfaces, who did the joinery, who laid the rebar landscape? Not Ai Weiwei. He’s just an ideas man. He leaves the execution to others. The moment I heard him say that, I slapped my forehead. Why didn’t I think of that?
Why am I spending hours at the computer, writing novels when I could be the ideas woman, come up with a high concept and let others put together the sentences. Fine, you say. You don’t care who writes the novel, as long as it’s a page turner. By all means, keep turning the pages, but while you’re at it, I expect you to listen to my literary theories.
I recommend that process also to plumbers, electricians, and roofers. In fact, cut out the middleman. You don’t need workers. Just give the homeowners the concept and let them grope in the drain, check for live wires, and lug shingles up to the hot roof, while you give them a lecture on unions and labor relations. Same advice goes for restaurant chefs. Let the patrons do the cooking, and during the meal, lecture them on the 100-mile diet. People may go to a fine restaurant for the culinary pleasure, but hey! All art is political – so raise people’s consciousness while you have them at the table.
Just spreading the Ai Weiwei message. No, wait: YOU spread the message. Go ahead: tweet, share, post it on Facebook. I’m just the ideas person.