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Stand by Ai Weiwei at First Thursdays in Solidarity Buzz: Shaving for Free Expression

August 23rd, 2013

Photo of Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, 2010, Photo credit: Gao Yuan


Sean Martindale
Solidarity Buzz: Shaving for Free Expression
at AGO First Thursdays
September 5, 2013
7 to 11:30 p.m.

Join in a performance by artist Sean Martindale and friends by getting a free buzz cut in solidarity with Ai Weiwei and others around the world similarly persecuted for their political views and public expression. In 2009, after sustaining a cerebral hemorrhage as the result of police brutality in China, Ai had to have his hair shaved off for the emergency brain surgery in Munich that saved his life. Ai’s head was shaved again for his unwarranted detainment by Chinese authorities in 2011. Although not a ubiquitous practice, this removal of hair is frequently part of the unjust authoritarian processing of prisoners of all kinds.

We’re looking for 12 volunteers to sign up and get their heads shaved as part of the performance, during which Martindale will also have his current shoulder-length hair buzzed off. Participants will have the option of getting pre- and post–buzz cut photo portraits shot as documentation of these gestures of solidarity to be shared both on the night and afterward.

Sign up by emailing 1st_Thursdays@ago.net. Participants will each receive a free ticket to the event, which features a performance by Fucked Up and a live video chat with Ai Weiwei and AGO Director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum.

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2 Responses to “Stand by Ai Weiwei at First Thursdays in Solidarity Buzz: Shaving for Free Expression

  1. […] The only audience question came from former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, who asked whether Ai’s work would have been different if he’d grown up and lived under different circumstances. (The answer: yes.) Clarkson wasn’t the only Canadian political figure engaged in the event: Ai conducted the chat from the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, and was accompanied on screen by the Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques. Additional participants in the evening’s proceedings included punk band Fucked Up, who performed a set following Ai’s talk, and artist-turned-barber-for-one-night Sean Martindale, who was doling out solidarity buzz cuts. […]

  2. […] Martindale getting his Solidarity Buzz at the AGO’s Stand by Ai Weiwei event. This performance was part of Martindale’s […]

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