Monday, 9 May 2011

Tere Bin Laden, Cocks and Ai Weiwei




For the conspiracy theorists amongst us who care enough to wonder about the truth about Osama Bin Laden (dead/alive/prisoner), perhaps the movie Tere Bin Laden will provide some answers.

This Indian comedy is about a Pakistani reporter (played by Ali Zafar - a big Pakistani popstar) who needs money to get buy a new identity to get to the place of his dreams, the USA. To do this, he decides to fake and sell a video of Osama Bin Laden, duping a chicken-farming Osama-alike into telling the world how he is going to destroy Amreeka.

He does this and the world listens. The USA listens. Osama is hiding in Pakistan! And so the US descend and work hand in hand with the Pakistani ISI to solve the problem.The rest, as they say, is history.

Some of the great lines said by the OBL chicken farmer lookalike are

"I have always liked cocks since I was little"
"I have always wanted to be surrounded by cocks"
"They call me the king of cock"

Which reminds me of Voina's cock graffitti from last year, a painting of a giant phallus on St Petersburg's Leteiny Bridge, a bridge that stood (when it rose) directly in line of sight of the windows of the building housing the FSB, the Russian security services. So fuck you very much indeed. Fantastic!

As the Free Voina website says:

"Voina is a Russian art collective that engages in street action art. It is a movement in contemporary art that is relatively new to Russia despite being widespread in the West and regarded by critics as one of the most valuable contemporary art movements.
 
The group was created on 23rd February, 2007 with the aim of developing monumental patriotic street art in Russia. The group’s idol was, and forever will be, the great Russian artist Dmitri Prigov. Voina currently counts over 200 members who perform actions in its name, sometimes without informing the rest of the group."

The FSB took offence however with the 'Giant Galactic Space Dick' being just the latest in several operative artworks that resulted in the arrest of Voina members Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaev by the Russian security services in November last year. You can read all about this here.

More pictures are here.


Here is the Voina support website.


Below is a painting of the arrest and a picture of Leonid Nikolaev under arrest.




Drawing a giant cock on a bridge that goes up and down is so infantile but at the same time so effective. It is just funny, especially when the humour is directed against something so corrupt and inhumane as the FSB. And it took 23 seconds to make.


Which reminds me of the Cpak Ming projections in Hong Kong from a couple of weeks ago. Cpak Ming projected images of Ai Weiwei, the detained Chinese artist, on the walls of the barracks of the Chinese People's Liberation Army with the words, Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei. Judging from their reactions, the PLA are. Again, simple and effective! And cheap too!

And the HK authorities have just arrested some people in connection with Ai Weiwei graffiti. 

And lest we should forget why the Chinese authorities don't like Ai Weiwei, the bottom picture is from 4th May, 2009, the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. He does awkward things like tell the truth and shout out when the nasty whiff of thievery and corruption is in the air.

Here's the Free Ai Weiwei website, and here is a petition to free Ai Weiwei.





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