There is a never a dull moment when it comes to Ai Weiwei and his Instagram habits. A couple days ago, the artist posted two photos, one of himself sitting his underwear and a hat and another of a friend, both with their legs held up like rifles. The caption for the photo translates to "Beijing Anti-terrorism Series," and there have been hundreds of imitations, most of which Weiwei has regrammed to his own account.
Because the purpose of the series was never explained, fans of Weiwei's work and others on the Internet have been sharing their theories. The Guardian wrote a piece today that weighed the possibilities of this being a number of things, including:
- a reference to a pose by the Chinese ballet in The Red Detachment of Women and a "satirical comment on China's onerous cultural control,"
- a call to #endgunviolence, as many followers have used the hashtag on their photos,
- a new dance move,
- a reference to the Cherry Darling character in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror film whose leg is replaced with an actual rifle,
- or the artist's answer to Angelina Jolie's leg meme from the 2012.
"Weiwei's so-called leg-gun series certainly raises more questions than it answers," writes The Guardian, "But the fact that one underwear-flashing, calf-clasping photo can produce a global conversation about state freedom, violence, Chinese communism, artistic interpretation and global power speaks volumes about the potency of the artist in our internet age."