Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramovic documentaries heading to Sundance
New documentaries about artists Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramović are heading to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, which is set to kick off late January in Park City, Utah. The movies will be shown in the festival's documentary section.
"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" is a documentary directed by Alison Klayman, who has been following the Chinese artist since 2008. Klayman started making the movie before Ai's arrest in early April, and completed the movie after his release in June.
Ai was imprisoned for more than 80 days with virtually no contact to the outside world. His supporters believe the Chinese government was retaliating against the artist for his online activism in the realm of free speech. He was released on bail in late June and is currently battling the Chinese government over a $2.4-million tax bill.
Ai's installation "Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads" is currently on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through February.
"Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present" follows the provocative performance artist as she prepares for her 2010 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Abramović is known for her extreme performance-art installations that often involve punishing forms of bodily deprivation as well as nudity. The documentary, directed by Matthew Akers, features intimate footage and interviews with the artist and her collaborators.
Abramović recently performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art's annual gala, which was held in November.
The Sundance Film Festival will run from Jan. 19 to 29.
-- David Ng
Photo: Ai Weiwei last month in Beijing. Credit: Andy Wong / Associated Press