Whispering Gallery: Who Runs the World?
Women are causing ripples in the art world. Hillary Clinton used her magnetic charm to pull out of his studio the reclusive Ai Weiwei, who since decamping from Berlin to the countryside in Portugal, has been enjoying newfound rural solitude since late 2021—mainly traveling only for museum openings. He accepted the invitation to do a one-on-one talk with the former US Secretary of State for her husband’s Clinton Global Initiative forum in New York City in September. True to form, Ai was more animated when discussing social issues—from artificial intelligence to the ongoing refugee crisis—compared to the rather narrow confines of art, instead saving the latter for a sideshow appearance in Los Angeles to discuss one of his earliest video works, Chang’an Boulevard (2004), with Museum of Contemporary Art’s executive director Johanna Burton.