Lisson Gallery

Read reviews of 'Ai Weiwei: The Liberty of Doubt' at Kettle's Yard Cambridge

16 February 2022

Ai Weiwei's exhibition at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, explores truth, authenticity and value, as well as globalisation, the coronavirus pandemic and current geopolitical crises. The exhibition has received positive reviews in multiple international publications, including The Financial Times:

We behave differently towards something we know is false. We fool ourselves into thinking we can spot the signs of deceit. A Buddhist deity perched on a lotus throne even carries traces of pigment that imply the original once appeared in bright colours: yet this too is thought to be a cunning copy, made in recent decades. The artist Doug Fishbone tried out something similar when he snuck a cheap Chinese knock-off of Fragonard’s “Young Woman” (1769) — commissioned from a company in Fujian famed for its counterfeit artworks — into the Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2015 and challenged visitors to spot the fake (they mostly failed).

“It’s powerful only because someone thinks it’s powerful and invests value in the object,” Ai once said of his smashed urn — in destroying it, he was challenging that authority. And in his mission to question the ways we assign value to objects based on notions of authenticity, at Kettle’s Yard he poses as both connoisseur and conman. Fakes and copies sabotage the leap of faith involved in looking at art.

Read the full review in The Financial Times here, and further reviews in the links below:

i News
Ai Weiwei: The Liberty of Doubt, Kettle’s Yard, review: A master provocateur

The Telegraph
Ai Weiwei, Kettle’s Yard, review: a witty middle-finger to the Chinese vandals-in-chief

The Times
Ai Weiwei on tyranny, optimism and being a rebel at 64

Artnet News
‘Ninety Percent of the History You Learned Is Nonsense’: Ai Weiwei on Blending Political Reality With Counterfeit Art in His New Show

Read reviews of 'Ai Weiwei: The Liberty of Doubt' at Kettle's Yard Cambridge
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