Ai Weiwei turns pop meme “Gangnam Style” into protest song. The State is not amused.

Art is Life


Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has posted a video of himself – and his staff – doing “Gangnam Style” – the original, by South Korean rapper Psi, has swept the nets… with 860,684,918 views!

The Chinese Government, not catching the subtleties of the joke, has banned the video.

Previously on Art is Life:

“Who’s Afraid of Ai Weiwei?” PBS’s FRONTLINE documentary on China’s first global art star

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Saatchi New Sensations 2012 exhibition 9-15 October, London!


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The New Sensations 2012 exhibition

9-15 October 2012

Where:  B1, Victoria House, Bloomsbury, London WC1

The New Sensations is a prestigious art prize awarded by Saatchi Gallery and Chanel 4, which was launched in 2007 to support the most talented graduates from the UK and Republic of Ireland. It is open to all art students graduating in BA or MA courses in the two countries.

Out of eight hundred entries twenty artists were shortlisted of which four finalists were selected.


Steven Allan

Olivial Poppy Coles

Nicolas Feldmayer

Rafal Topolewski

Jungle 3 and 1, Rafal Topolewski, 2012

for now there is only this and you, Olivia Poppy Coles, 2011


Fantastic 2012 Lille starting today 5 October!


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Fantastic 2012

Where: around the city of Lille, France, and surrounding areas

5 October 2012 – 13 January 2013

Admission: many events are FREE, for others admission varies – PASSES are available (check link below) as well as concessions if you have a TGV ticket

It takes only 1 hr 26 mins to get to Lille from London by Eurostar!

The city of Lille promises to be transformed into a strange place where demons and surreal objects  will hover over your heads in installations under the theme ‘Urban Metamorphosis’.

In over 700 events the visitors can expect art exhibitions of various nature: installations, textile, video, theatre and much more in truly fantastic venues – museums, galleries, churches, cafés, train stations as well as outdoor urban space around the city and its surrounding areas.

The opening Parade taking place tomorrow – Saturday 6 October – features a giant creature by the visual artist Nick Cave as well as live music by the city’s philharmonic orchestra,  fireworks and other surprises. Visitors are welcome to take part and are encouraged to make and wear their own weird costume.

‘Surrational’, Nick Cave


‘Soundsuit’, Nick Cave-James Prinz

‘La Rambla, an extravagant, illuminated work of art on Rue Faidherbe in Lille. Designed by François Schuiten, a Belgian comic book artist and scenographer, and created by Ricardo Basualdo, this installation measures 200 metres long and 12 metres high and is made up of more than 5,000 LED bulbs, transforming the street into a palace of interwoven lace made of lights’



‘Beyond Reality – British Painting Today’ opening today 4 October in Prague


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Beyond Reality – British Painting Today

Where: Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague

4 September – 30 December

Tue–Wed & Fri–Sun: 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
Monday closed

Full admission: CZK 140
Concessions: CZK 90

ImageJonathan Wateridge: Matinee, 2011, oil on canvas


Ged Quinn: In Heaven Everything Is Fine, 2010-11, oil on linen

Post-conceptual, mostly figurative paintings by twelve British artists give the overview of contemporary British art tendencies in which realism seems to play an important role. References to photo realism as well as directly to classical art and 19th century realism in painting predominates this show.

Participating artists:

Jason Brooks
Glenn Brown
Jake & Dinos Chapman
Marie Harnett
Damien Hirst
Ben Johnson
Hynek Martinec
Ged Quinn
Keith Tyson
Jonathan Wateridge
Mathew Weir


Denis Rouvre ‘Low Tide – The Japan of Chaos’ in Paris opening this week


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Denis Rouvre
‘Low Tide – The Japan of Chaos

Where: la Pinacothèque de Paris

3 October 2012 – 17 March 2013

FREE admission

Denis Rouvre, a multiple winner of World Press Photo,  is revealing his insight into the tragedy of those Japanese who have survived the catastrophic earthquake and nuclear station failure in March 2011. The French portrait photographer spent one month travelling in the area between Ishinomaki and Minamisoma to document what the disaster left behind, visiting the temporary housings of the survivers and talking to them.
‘…on their faces, I read the implacable reality, shot through  by as many shadings as there are lives. Those faces were an echo to the destroyed sites.  Like a two-piece puzzle in which each element has no option other than to correspond to the other.  But they were standing ; they, which the past turmoils had not destroyed , were still ready to face up to the coming ones.’

World Architecture Day 2012, 1 October in London!



World Architecture Day 2012

London 1 October


Presentations, interactive talks, a showcase of the most innovative design solutions and more by the world’s leading contemporary architects. 

  • Education for tomorrow
  • Healthcare design
  • Civic buildings
  • Urban regeneration + more



Festival of Contemporary Art ‘Le Printemps de Septembre’ in Toulouse, France starting today!


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Le Printemps de Septembre a Toulouse

opening 28 September 6pm

28 September – 21 October

Mon-Fri: 12pm-7pm

Sat-Sun: 11am-7pm

late night opening till 0.30 am:  28-29 September and 5-6 October

FREE but some events require booking (see the link below for downloadable schedule)

Logo Printemps de Septembre-à Toulouse - Festival de création contemporaine

Le Printemps de September is an established art festival organised by art historian and critic Paul Ardennes. This year tackles the theme of history and brings together about forty artists from across the world, in whose work the theme is explored.

You can enjoy a variety of exhibitions, artist led guided tours (in French, English and Spanish!), artist talks, workshops, family events as well as related theatrical performances, dance and music and more.


‘Thomas Schütte – Frauen’ out soon!


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Thomas Schütte – Frauen

Thomas Schütte – Frauen

by Andrea Bellini and Dieter Schwarz

bilingual German
and English edition

Richter Verlag

ISBN 978-3-941263-41-3


‘Thomas Schütte (born 1954 in Oldenburg) is one of the most singular of present-day artists, who ventures to deploy techniques, genres and themes long thought passé, such as the sculpturally formed female figure in permanent materials like bronze, aluminum and steel. Preceded by small ceramic figures, the female sculptures came about at the end of the 1990s and show the gamut of his experimental praxis. Thus the first reclining female nudes can still be assigned to the entourage of classicist figures from the early 20th century and recall Maillol’s weighty nudes. In contrast, the following monument al Frauen with sawn-off limbs, distortions, bodies steam-rolled flat, in tantalizing poses – ruthlessly exposed on steel work tables – resist any attempt to categorize their style into the canon of official art history. Nonetheless, his brutal treatment of the motif does not derive from a breach of a taboo for its own sake or a wish to deflate the now obsolete formal world of modernism, but as its use as a testing ground for present-day means of artistic expression. These still have their justification, Schütte says, “now that there’s no longer the stress of having to start a revolution at every and any occasion”.’


Funding: 1 Postdoctoral Fellowship or 3 PhD Scholarships in Art HIstory

What can I do with a B.A. in Japanese Studies?

Heidelberg University is offering 1 Postdoctoral Fellowship or 3 PhD Scholarships in the Art Histories of China, Japan, and Europe, respectively, within the Cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context,” funded by the German Federal Excellence Initiative. The position/s shall begin from 1 January 2013, but a later appointment may be considered.

The three-year position/s are situated within the research group MC4 ‘Frames and Framing in Transcultural Interactions’ and shall take a new look at the processes of material and textual “en-framings” (mountings, texts, pictorial additions and adaptations) of specific paintings and objects as they travel from one cultural environment to another. The successful applicants are expected to contribute to the research group’s objectives in close collaboration with colleagues in European and East Asian art history, Chinese intellectual history, and South Asian literary history. A brief outline of the project can be found here:

Requirements include relevant disciplinary qualifications in East…

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