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DC Summer Lovin’: Art Exhibits and Soundtracks Happen So Fast

Several of you have asked “what say ye D.C. Docent, for summer art extravaganzas not to be missed?” Not really, it was only one of you that asked and your vernacular was quite plain. But it did get me thinking, it’s never too early to start surveying the summer landscape. Here are my preliminary picks, but keep in mind that several private galleries have yet to release their late summer line-ups:

  • Ai Weiwei at The Hirshhorn & Freer Sackler - Gigantism, interconnectivity, political dissidence, stone and wood translate into A Staring at the Sun kind of intensity where questioning authority, jail time and occupying something don’t seem so bad.

Asian Photography Symposium at The Freer Sackler

Get your research on at Imperial Exposure: Early Photography and Royal Portraits across Asia, a 2-day symposium (December 5th and 6th) which “examines imperial portraiture during the advent of photography in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.”

Every now and again it’s good to do academic art symposiums and lucky for us, Smithsonian programming generally does a good job pulling experts together.

The Freer Sackler has a couple great programs going on right now regarding Chinese photography and “The Empress Dowager” through January 2012.

 

"There are positives to Beijing. People still give birth to babies. There are a few nice parks. Last week I walked in one, and a few people came up to me and gave me a thumbs up or patted me on the shoulder. Why do they have to do that in such a secretive way? No one is willing to speak out. What are they waiting for? They always tell me, ‘Weiwei, leave the nation, please.’ Or ‘Live longer and watch them die.’ Either leave, or be patient and watch how they die. I really don’t know what I’m going to do.”

"There are positives to Beijing. People still give birth to babies. There are a few nice parks. Last week I walked in one, and a few people came up to me and gave me a thumbs up or patted me on the shoulder. Why do they have to do that in such a secretive way? No one is willing to speak out. What are they waiting for? They always tell me, ‘Weiwei, leave the nation, please.’ Or ‘Live longer and watch them die.’ Either leave, or be patient and watch how they die. I really don’t know what I’m going to do.

STRATFOR’s China Director Jennifer Richmond discusses how the timing of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s arrest illustrates a change in the Chinese government’s behavior — as well as in increased foreign scrutiny — even at the expense of damaging its public image.

(via ericmortensen)