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Insta of the Week: Ai Weiwei Fills BMWs with Lego

Lego tried to censor his "political art," so the dissident artist is crowdfunding his retort.
October 30, 2015, 3:15pm

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 30, 2015 at 4:12am PDT

When Ai Weiwei denounced what he calls "an act of censorship and discrimination" against his studio earlier this week by Danish toymaker Lego, who refused to sell him a bulk order of Lego, the internet swiftly stepped in to support the controversial artist.

The privately owned company decided that Weiwei's upcoming show honoring Australian dissident voices violated the terms of their corporate policy because, "The motive(s) cannot contain any political, religious, racist, obscene or defaming statements." A sect of the artist's 175k Instagram followers and 295k Twitter follwers offered up their own Lego instead, and now the artist is collecting them in a fleet of donated BMW 5S Series sedans in cities all over the world. In New York City, the Brooklyn Museum is Weiwei's donation location; Melbourne's is at the museum hosting the upcoming installation, the National Gallery of Victoria; Berlin's is in front of the Martin-Gropius-Bau; and more pictures of BMWs are being posted every day.

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The most satisfying part of the process so far is watching the empty cars fill up with multicolored bricks. A childhood spent cleaning legos out of the car makes the idea of filling one up with them seem so wrong, but also so right.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 29, 2015 at 11:26am PDT

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 29, 2015 at 11:25am PDT

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 29, 2015 at 11:25am PDT

Thank you, Brooklyn Museum

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 29, 2015 at 9:49am PDT

Thank you, Brooklyn Museum

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 29, 2015 at 9:49am PDT

Foam (Photography Museum Amsterdam), in Keizersgracht 609 will be the collection point in Amsterdam for LEGO donations. Drop-in deliveries will be accepted in a BMW vehicle located in front of the building. Postal donations can also be sent by mail to the museums address in Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 29, 2015 at 7:28am PDT

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 28, 2015 at 11:56pm PDT

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 28, 2015 at 7:32am PDT

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 28, 2015 at 1:52am PDT

The Lego Container of NGV

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 27, 2015 at 3:32am PDT

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 25, 2015 at 11:01pm PDT

The first Lego container .

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 25, 2015 at 11:04pm PDT

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A video posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 27, 2015 at 9:08am PDT

The Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin will be the collection point in Germany for LEGO donations. Drop-in deliveries will be accepted in a BMW vehicle located on the western (right) side of the museum entrance. Donations can also be sent by mail to neugerriemschneider, Linienstr. 155, 10115 Berlin.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 27, 2015 at 7:24am PDT

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 29, 2015 at 8:24am PDT

LEGO COLLECTION POINT INSTRUCTIONS 1. Ai Weiwei Studio is organizing a number of Collection Points in different cities. 2. Ai Weiwei would like to rent, borrow or buy second-hand a BMW 5S Series sedan, of which the color can vary, as a Lego container. The vehicle must have clear windows and a sunroof that can be fixed open with a 5 cm opening so that people can insert Legos. It should be free of any advertising or other decoration. 3. The car should be parked and locked in a central location of the city that can be easily accessed by the public. The vehicle should remain in the parking space for one month or a longer period of time, preferably in a location related to arts or culture, indoor or outdoor. 4. Ai Weiwei Studio will be solely responsible for the custody and removal of the Lego container. 5. Ai Weiwei will indicate the location of the containers on his Instagram and Twitter @aiww. 6. A mailing address will also be provided for donors. Please contact:aiweiwei.letgo@gmail.com with any questions. October 26, 2015

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:51am PDT

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If you want to help out, you can also mail donations the Brooklyn Museum at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238. Keep up with Ai Weiwei's latest updates and donation points on Instagram.

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