MAY 3, 2011 WARHOL AND RAUSCHENBERG FOUNDATIONS CALL FOR THE RELEASE OF AI WEIWEI
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation join the global arts community in calling for the release of artist Ai Weiwei. The detention of this visionary individual, and the subsequent suppression of information concerning his whereabouts and well being, is in direct conflict with those who work to create a more just, enlightened society.
It is encouraging that artistic institutions large and small have moved swiftly and with great compassion to turn their concern into action. Among many others, New York’s Creative Time and the Philadelphia-based Slought Foundation have both been exemplary in their activities, organizing public events and promoting awareness through social media and diplomatic channels.
We also applaud the efforts of the International Council of Museums, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Tate Museum in London, and others who have advocated for the humane treatment and release of Ai Weiwei. As stalwart supporters of the rights of individual artists and free expression in every form, our foundations are proud to add their names to the following petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/call-for-the-release-of-ai-weiwei.
In our capacity as leaders of artist-centered foundations, our primary concern is to ensure that artists everywhere are given the proper access and support they need to remain critical, creative and have their voices heard. As citizens of an interconnected, globalized world, we cannot remain silent when others are being silenced. We urge everyone to become informed about this case and remain attentive to threats to freedom of expression, wherever they may occur.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Joel Wachs, President
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Christy MacLear, Executive Director