Music: Gangnam Style by Psy
An artwork as a workout in 'Gangnam Style.'
This video incorporates footage from a workshop Sonja gave on the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei at the Rotorua Art Village (RAVE) in Aotearoa/New Zealand, where participants then danced and made slogans on 'what does freedom after speech mean to us.'
It slides between the genres of art video, conceptual art, reportage, and political statement. It can be read equally as a home movie clip, a response to a current political event, or as referencing the art worlds: as conceptual art, polemic or a take on the meme.
Ai Weiwei's dance style can be read as much a mockery of the video clip genre but also has references to censorship. The crossed wrists refer both to Psy's dance moves and to handcuffs.
"Gangnam Style RAVE" incorporates excerpts from
Ai Weiwei's video: "Mud Straw Horse - Style" (released Oct 2012) and Anish Kapoor's video "Gangnam for Freedom - Anish Kapoor and Friends (Official Video)" along with footage from Sonja's workshop "Why is Ai Weiwei doing Gangnam Style." The slogans were made by participants in response to a discussion of freedom of expression in relation to collective and individual involvement in the world and one's local society.
Some background to the "Gangnam Style" art videos
When the Chinese government banned South Korean Psy's song "Gangnam Style" in mid 2012 Ai Weiwei made a sharp and witty youtube video clip using this song (See my review: Ai Weiwei the multi-tasker).
When his video was also banned, artists and arts institutes around the world made their own 'Gangnam Style' videos in response.
Snippets in "Gangnam Style RAVE" also show support from: Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMa, New York, The Philadelphia Museum of Arts, Hirshorn Museum + Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mariam Tzannatos, Whitney Museum, Tumblr, Lisa Appignansi, Helen Bamber, Oliver & Ottilie Bestridge with William & Allegra Mullan, Gladstone Gallery, New Museum, MoMA, New York, Philadephia Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Sakip Sabani Museum, Istanbul, Demetrio Paparoni, Norman Rosenthal, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Cornelia Parker & Jeff MacMillan, Hanif Kurieshi, Serpentine Gallery.