Start Questioning

26 August 2011

While digging through this year’s Goldsmiths’ Graduate works I came across that of Marcela Teran: “Start Questioning“, a project that goes way beyond her tangible Personal Support Toolkits trying to question our modern lifestyles; but these kits look so much fun!


The project seeks to open up discussions about the normalization of lifestyles, looking at examples from people currently engaging in changes, aiming to develop means to give support, convey and promote questioning initiatives, recognizing the importance of taking agency over personal choices to meet our values…. can you give tomato seeds for free without being chased by the police?

One kit for appreciation, one for resourcefulness, one for compassion and a last one for freedom…

compassion kit

… do we consider the impact of the food we eat, the clothes we wear? are we living freely? do we take our resources for granted? Questions we should ask ourselves pretty much every day … but we simply don’t.

These kits look like a great idea to start conversations and generate discussions … maybe they’re not marketable, but could easily be used in workshops & educational fields. More info & pics / videos on Marcela’s blog.

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The Fine Art of Economic Crimes

22 May 2011

In an era when censorship and art rarely appear in the same sentence, few things are more shocking than an artist being arrested for a bit of dissent. Yet, such things still happen and are too often quickly brushed aside as the extreme consequence of the odd repressive regime.

More than 40 days ago, as Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was about to board a plane in Beijing, he was arrested and taken away to an undisclosed location. He is still detained and he was not allowed contact with his family, friends or lawyers until a few days ago. Sunday he was finally given permission to briefly meet with his wife, in the presence of his jailers who warned her that she was not to discuss the visit as it could “be bad for Mr Ai’s case”. Ai Weiwei is the artist who contributed to the design of Beijing’s Olympics Stadium, that big bird’s nest that has come to represent an event that was meant to show that China was ready to open itself up to to the rest of the world…

Weiwei's Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads currently @ Somerset House

This is nothing new for Weiwei who was put under house arrest in November 2010 when he tried to turn the forced demolition of his Shanghai studio into an event. He had initially been invited to build the place at the cost of over £600.000 which was then declared illegal and earmarked for demolition because, according to the director of the urban construction department in Malu township as quoted in News of the World, “Ai’s studio did not go through the application procedures, therefore, it is an illegal building”.

Continue reading The Fine Art of Economic Crimes

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