Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei’s music video for his heavy metal single ‘Dumbass’ criticises the abuses of state power in China. The clip displays the environment of Weiwei’s isolated 81-day detention in 2011, for which the exact model of his cell was recreated. Besides constant surveillance and humiliation the watcher is being exposed to a number of surreal activities of Chinese daily prison life that include sex dolls, toilets full of crabs, Ai Weiwei’s appearance as a transsexual and a kid shaving all of the artists’ infamous facial hair.
While the music stands in the background, Ai Weiwei manages, yet another time, to use a music video as a successful format for an artistic and political call. He sings: ‘Stand on the frontline like a dumbass, in a country that puts out like a hooker… tolerance be damned, to hell with manners, the low-life’s invincible’ (original voice: Chinese). The video was immediately blocked on the Chinese internet – along with the search term “Ai Weiwei”.