The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is known for raising his middle finger to authority in one of his most famous series Study of Perspective. But now, members of the public can post their own “raised finger” works for a new online digital work.
Ai has teamed up with the company Avant Arte, providing a platform called Middle Finger where participants can superimpose Ai Weiwei’s outstretched arm over various searchable locations. Users can also download a high resolution "cut-out" of Ai's arm to overlay on images of their own. “The archive of images will be on display on avantarte.com and people are invited to use #studyofperspective when sharing on social media,” a project statement says. Many notable landmarks have been chosen such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and Trump Tower. Other targets include the bank Credit Suisse as well as works of art by Vincent Van Gogh, Hans Holbein The Younger and Banksy.
The Middle Finger project heralds a new show of Ai’s works at the Design Museum in London. Avant Arte is also selling a time-limited silkscreen print edition, Middle Finger in Red (€410) for 24 hours on 30 March (65% of profits from the sale will be donated to the Design Museum).
In a previous interview with The Art Newspaper, Ai discussed the decision by M+ museum in Hong Kong to remove Study of Perspective from the exhibition displaying the collection of Uli Sigg. In March 2021, M+ released a statement saying it had no plans to show the piece.