Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has defended what he sees as unrestricted freedom of speech for artists following a controversial social media post about the Gaza war. “I don’t draw any boundaries,” said Ai Weiwei on Thursday evening at an opening in Munich. "I want to be criticized."
London's Lisson Gallery canceled a planned exhibition on Ai Weiwei this week after severe criticism of the artist's comments. According to reports from British media, among others, Ai Weiwei commented on the financial, cultural and media influence of the "Jewish community" in a now-deleted tweet on the social media platform X.
Ai Weiwei: "I am a different person today than I was yesterday"
When asked if he would post the tweet again, the artist, who lives in Europe, told the German Press Agency at the event: "I'm a different person today than I was yesterday." The 66-year-old also said: "What should I regret?" In the interview he had previously emphasized that the artist's freedom does not mean that he is right. "I could be wrong. I have the freedom to be wrong."
The reason for the vernissage in Munich's Lenbachhaus Museum was a special edition of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" magazine ("Edition 46") with art by Ai Weiwei that was published on Thursday evening. The SZ magazine also conducted an interview with the Chinese man about, among other things, his own story of persecution. According to the interviewer, the conversation took place in August.