Sunday, July 5, 2015

Philadelphia Museum of Art goes 'Gangnam Style' for human rights

PMA appears in a video supporting Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei.

Philadelphia Museum of Art goes 'Gangnam Style' for human rights

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art makes an appearance in artist Anish Kapoor's parody of the uber-popular song "Gangnam Style" in support of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei.

Kapoor invited many prominent art institutions to take part in his video, choreographed by Akram Khan, including the MoMA and the Guggenheim. "“We were delighted to participate in this international event. A number of our staff performed '“Gangnam Style'” on the East Terrace of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in front of the Dancing Around the Bride to demonstrate their support for artistic freedom," said Timothy Rub, PMA director.

"Gangnam Style" recently surpassed Justin Bieber's "Baby" as the most watched video on YouTube.

Wei Wei regularly uses humor and pop culture to express his dissent against the Chinese government. In his video, he danced along to Psy's popular song with handcuffs around his wrists. His video was called "Grass-Mud Horse Style," a name that sounds like an obscenity and if often used by Chinese bloggers as a form of censored dissent. The Chinese government swiftly removed Wei Wei's video from the internet in China.

Kapoor has publicly supported Wei Wei before. His “Gangnam for Freedom" video is clearly less subtle than Wei Wei's calling for human rights. "I hope that a new regime in China will see that it cannot possibly be in their long-term, or even medium-term, interest to stifle artists and poets," Kapoor told the New York Times.

For mroe on Ai Wei Wei, watch "Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry." a documentary directed by Wynnewood native Alison Klayman.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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