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.

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Oct 30 2015, 3:15pm
 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on


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.

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

 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

Thank you, Brooklyn Museum

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

Thank you, Brooklyn Museum

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

The Lego Container of NGV

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

The first Lego container .

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

A video posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

 

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


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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