Visitor Smashes Ai Weiwei Vase at PAMM UPDATED

Categories: Art

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Courtesy of Craig O'Neil
Update: The police report says the alleged vandal is Miami artist Maximo Caminero.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami has received much critical acclaim and attention for their current Ai Weiwei exhibition, According To What?, which PAMM's website describes as "the first international (exhibit) of this vital artist's multifaceted artistic oeuvre." The array of Ai's work, spanning 20 years of the artist's career, has been on display since the Museum opened on December 4th, and was slated to remain at PAMM until March 16th.

But Sunday, February 16, a man -- whose name has yet to be released -- walked up to the collection of Ai's painted vases, one of the popular focal points of the exhibition, picked up one of the 16 vases, and dropped it on the floor.

The installation, Colored Vases, exemplifies the powerful symbolism that permeates much of Ai's work. The vases are from China's Neolithic period, making them anywhere from 5,500 to 7,000 years old, and have been dipped in cheap, garishly colored industrial paint. Given the historical context, Ai's vandalistic alterations to the vases makes for a stirring and visually striking metaphor for the conflict between East and West, a conflict between culture and commercialism.

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"Colored Vases", Ai Weiwei, 2006-2012
According to Craig O'Neil, a visitor who was at the museum at the time of the incident and was able to take a quick picture of the aftermath, the security guards' response was almost immediate.

"They had the front of the section cordoned off by the time I was up the stairs and I was on just able to sneak a picture from the other end of the room before they closed that side off too," O'Neil explained.

PAMM officials confirmed the vandalism as a purposeful act in a short statement.

"This afternoon, a museum visitor intentionally broke a vase in the Ai Weiwei exhibition. The museum's security team immediately secured the galleries, and the person was apprehended. He is now in police custody, and the museum is working with the authorities in their investigation."

The museum declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation. It is interesting to note that the exhibit includes a series of photos of the artist picking up and dropping a similar vase to those currently on display. PAMM will remain open through Monday's holiday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

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53 comments
Breaux Bridges
Breaux Bridges

Omg what a coincidence I made the same bowls in a community center art class when i was 9.. i will gladly sell them to you for a discount of $500, 000

Breaux Bridges
Breaux Bridges

Omg rich people problems... Again... 0 phucks given

Melisa Misley
Melisa Misley

He has a valid point. They used public taxpayer money $200 million... but show no local artists

Stan Osipov
Stan Osipov

Ah haha! He is obviously his biggest fan

Lourdes Diaz
Lourdes Diaz

Winston - Ai Weiwei doesnt go around museums smashing other artists' work. That's called vandalism, not art. This exhibition has traveled the world without incident. I hope this jerk gets to spend time in jail contemplating his utter stupidity.

Winston Tinubu
Winston Tinubu

Weiwei himself will be proud. Art imitating Art. I was there to see the exhibition the day before this happened. In it, Weiwei himself is shown smashing a vase in protest. Irony?

Gabe Milian
Gabe Milian

Why do I have a feeling this was intentionally done by the artist?

Alexander Medina
Alexander Medina

Wow and I was just there last weekend looking at those vases. Lol

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..........................no CHIHULYs were harmed in the incident

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...............i didn't like that green one anyway

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

................maybe it's an INSURANCE CLAIM SCAM by perez who wants to CASH OUT and get his $30,ooo,ooo back ?

Brendan Casey
Brendan Casey

2 weeks ago I saw a tourist trip over the stand into the vases accidentally. Luckily, his friends caught him and prevented any damage.

Avigdor Weber
Avigdor Weber

It was part of the show. Raising his "artistic value" through controversy

Jay Thomas
Jay Thomas

Sam Kelly Tommy Ralph Pace Hans Rasch

Alberto Leal
Alberto Leal

Say hello to your little friends at jail

Nancy Casquarelli-Cardona
Nancy Casquarelli-Cardona

Whoa...7000 yr old pots vandalized by being dipped in cheap industrial paint. Now if that wasn't a statement in itself, perhaps from certain point of view...smashing the vases is a goes with this artistic vandalism. But I doubt that will make any difference in court.

Darcy Shepard
Darcy Shepard

Oh, to be a fly on that wall!!! Histrionics ensued I am sure..

Ta Da
Ta Da

smart trick to promote this exhibition :)

Sergio Alejandro
Sergio Alejandro

Basically (if I'm understanding this correctly): The designated purpose of the Vase installation is to make a commentary on how we mistreat artifacts, then someone tries to make an artistic statement by breaking one of the artifacts that was already tainted to begin with when it was put on display. Perfect.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................that's what i think also

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................yup: “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn”…

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.......................“Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn”…

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