UW-Green Bay arts curator shares views on China controversy

In a Log edition last week we mentioned the debate in the arts community concerning engagement with the Chinese government despite their detention of dissident artist Ai Weiwei. We linked to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article about the plans of Milwaukee Art Museum Director Dan Keegan, UW-Green Bay class of 1972, to go ahead with a planned exhibit of historic art authorized by Chinese cultural officials. We have since heard from UW-Green Bay Curator of Art Stephen Perkins, of Arts and Visual Design, who has a different view of protests, petitions and gestures being undertaken worldwide by artists advocating for Ai’s release. Among other things, Perkins has created a graphic image on the theme of Ai’s arrest by Chinese officials; the piece “Who’s Afraid of Ai Weiwei?” is posted on Perkins’ Facebook page. Although Perkins suggests he would have liked to see Keegan take a different stance in media interviews, he does appreciate that the MAM will hold a panel discussion on July 7 titled “Ai Weiwei: The Collision of Art and Politics.”