How art gets generated.
You’ve probably heard by now that Ai Wei Wei, famed artist of the Lego variety, was turned down for a boatload of Legos on the grounds that his work contains political statements. Did we already forget 2014’s Trace, a large-scale installation by Wei Wei made entirely of Legos, depicting the names and portraits of political prisoners. Wei Wei is an artist in which the power of the message is in the materials. Legos are bricks; bricks make walls; walls are meant to contain, or imprison, if you will. So what does one do if you can’t get materials through usual means?
You get determined, and you turn your piece into a worldwide collaboration. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne has offered to be just one of many worldwide collection spots for Legos for Wei Wei. Hopefully these will begin popping up elsewhere, all over the world. What has ended up happening is that Ai Wei Wei has brought attention to his work’s content. Art is, among a myriad of other things, about action and about eliciting a reaction, and Lego has helped Ai Wei Wei do exactly that.