Ai Weiwei and JR - Political Artists and Artist Activists
The article will address Ai Weiweiâ€™s and JRâ€™s political engagement with the refugee crisis in their work, the former as a political artist and the latter as an activist artist. Ai, in a series of conceptual installations and the feature film Human Flow, as did JR at Tecate on the Mexican-US border, sought to shed light on the securitization of migration and the hollowness of neoliberalismâ€™s human rights discourse. More generally, the article will interrogate the roles of the socially concerned political artist and the socially involved activist artist. I argue that Ai and JR strategically employ their celebrity status as darlings of the West neoliberal art world to undermine the securitization and human rights discourses from the â€˜insideâ€™.
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