Chinese artist Ai Weiwei shares brilliant video for 'Dumbass'

The controversial artist and political activist reveals the first song from his forthcoming album.

A leading contemporary artist known for his irreverent, politically-charged installations and sculptures, Ai Weiwei was also the victim of state oppression in China, where he was forcibly detained for over three months in 2011.

Earlier this year, Ai (and musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou) announced plans for an album, with songs that run the gamut from heavy metal to punk to pop. ‘Dumbass’ falls into the metal category, with a sludgy riff and a derisive, political message (“Stand on the frontline like a dumbass, in a country that puts out like a hooker,” according to an English translation).

Directed by Ai with cinematography by Christopher Doyle, the video dramatizes and then satirizes Ai’s imprisonment. Stark recreations of prison life quickly descend into images of sex dolls, lingerie-clad models, and several bits of eye-catching roll reversal.

Watch the video below; the song and video are available for download on Ai Weiwei’s website, as are the song’s lyrics. ‘Dumbass’ appears on The Divine Comedy, due out June 22.

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