但是同瑞士建筑家赫尔佐格和德梅隆共同设计出“鸟巢” 的中国艺术家艾未未却说，他不想和有关这个体育场的政治宣传扯上任何关系。“我已经得到了设计的快乐，那其余的都是垃圾。我对把自己同奥运会或是国家联系 在一起没有任何兴趣。我很讨厌那种为了做推广或政治宣传而鼓动出来的感觉。我本能地想回避。这种感觉就像是人们不坚持事实，而是试图去凭空编造些东西，去 误导人们，使人们不能进行真正的讨论。这对任何人都是无益的。”
"对于一个想证明自己是国际大家庭的一部分并且想证明 我们有着同样的价值观的国家而言，这个体育场是一个大胆的设计。它代表着很多的激情和能量。作为一个建筑作品，它象征着历史长河中的这一刻。我想很多家庭 会带着他们的孩子去那里，这也会激发人们对于努力所能达到的成就的想象力"。
他认为，国家体育场之所以独一无二，是因为不需要室内 设计。“一切都是一体的，结构就是它的自身的艺术形式。由内至外它都是一个整体。它是一个完整体。这使得它在概念上就非常独特。这比外观重要的多。”艾未 未感到，“鸟巢”的标签损害了这一点。如果你注视的时间久了，它就又变成了别的东西。这就是为什么我从来不看它。我告诉别人我永远不会去看体育场。他们都 说：“这个家伙疯了，他居然不想去看08年8月8日的开幕式。”如果我那时候头脑依然很清楚，我宁愿断了和它的任何关系或是被人们遗忘。
对于他的同龄人张艺谋导演，艾未未措辞也颇为苛刻。张 艺谋正同史蒂芬斯皮尔伯格联手编排奥运会开幕式。“世界上所有龌龊导演都参加了，真是令人作呕。”艾未未做出了如此评论，“我不喜欢任何无耻地滥用自己职 业的人，他们没有任何道德上的判断。这是没有思想的行为。我非常公开地批评将文化用于政治宣传目的，而摒弃了艺术和智力真正功能的倾向。所有人都倾向于不 去谈论过去，而剩下的就是娱乐和欢庆。这简直是疯了。”
在张艺谋的职业生涯中，他曾遭到来自当局和甚至当局的 反对者的批评，而此番，斯皮尔伯格曾说他青睐2008年奥运会是因为它推动了全球共同的道德标准。不管怎样，难道艾未未不是同样如此吗？“我有明确的政治 标准。它并不是去反对国家，而是去争取个人立场，言论自由，人权以及公正。这些听起来都是些大词，但如果你是在这个社会中成长起来的，它们就不是什么大 词。很遗憾我们总是要去思考这些事情，但是，它仍然是客观存在的事实。”
我问艾未未他的言语为何如此激烈，而他又是否害怕带来 的影响。他回答说：“这是我唯一不担心的事情。我是个50岁的人了，我的父亲30岁的时候就被关到监狱，随后又被流放。人总要做些事情，这永远都不晚。我 们必须一直按照自己的标准去做事，去做出决定，去参与或是反抗，我们必须有自己的尺度。”
No one in the state here would ever hire me for a project like this. Even if they tried, I would not do it.’
Ai Weiwei, Designer of the Olympic stadium
Interview by Jonathan Watts
Thursday August 9, 2007
The unique steel lattice design of the Olympic stadium in Beijing looks set to make it one of the symbols of our age – and to engender awe at the creative imagination of China. It will be the stage for the opening ceremony, the athletics events and the medal awards.
But Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist who conceived the "bird’s nest" design with Swiss architects -Herzog & de Meuron, says he wants nothing to do with the stadium’s propaganda use. "The joy of design is already there, the rest is rubbish. I have no interest in associating myself with the Olympics or the state. I hate the kind of feeling stirred up by promotion or propaganda. I instinctively avoid it. It’s the kind of sentiment when you don’t stick to the facts, but try to make up something, to mislead people away from a true discussion. It is not good for anyone."
Ai has good reason to oppose propaganda. In an anti-rightist purge, his father, Ai Qin, one of China’s greatest modern poets, was banned from publishing for the better part of
two decades in the late 1950s. Exiled to Xinjiang, he was forced to clean latrines. Why, then, did his son take part in a project with such obvious party uses?
"I was not hired by the state, but by a design team in Switzerland. No one in the state here would ever hire me for a project like this. Even if they tried, I would not do it. I have too many reasons not to do it," he says, but adds that he has no regrets. "Design in itself has a meaning for me. Whether a stadium or a toilet seat, the form is interesting, as are the human activities that relate to it …The stadium is a very bold design for a nation that wants to prove itself part of the international family, to show we share the same values. It represents a lot of passion and energy. As an architectural work, it stands for this moment in history. I think families will take their children and their imaginations will be stimulated about what human effort is capable of."
What makes it unique, he believes, is that there is no need for interior design. "Everything is one. The structure is its own art form. From inside and outside it is one thing. It is a totality. That makes it very special conceptually. That is much more important than the look." Ai feels the "bird’s nest" tag detracts from it. "If you look at it long enough, it becomes something else. That is why I never look at it. I tell them I will never go. They say, ‘this guy is crazy’." He will not be there for the opening -ceremony on August 8 2008. "If my mind is still clear at that time, I would rather be disconnected or forgotten."
There are harsh words too for his contemporary, the director Zhang Yimou, who is choreographing the opening ceremony in consultation with Steven Spielberg. "All the shitty directors in the world are involved. It’s disgusting," says Ai. "I don’t like anyone who shamelessly abuses their profession, who makes no moral judgment. It is mindless. I very openly criticise the tendency to use culture for the purpose of propaganda, to dismiss the true function of art and the intellect. Everybody has this tendency not to talk about the past. The only thing left is to try to entertain and celebrate. It’s crazy."
In his career, Zhang has been criticised by the authorities and their opponents alike, while Spielberg has said he prizes the 2008 games for promoting "universal moral principles". And in any case, isn’t Ai Weiwei equally involved? "I have clear political standards. It is not opposition to the state, but rather in fighting for individualism and freedom of expression, freedom of human rights and justice. They sound like big words, but they are not when you grow up in such a society. It is a pity we have to think about those things, but still, it is a fact.
"If you read newspapers today you see the problems created by this structure and by the effort to maintain power. It is against everything that human society should be fighting for. I am just a normal person, but happily I have become a notable person. That means something to me only because it gives me a better chance to fight.
"You cannot walk 100m in Beijing without questioning why you live in this city. Yet they celebrate the Olympics. It is very ironic. Look at the air in the past week. But it is no more disgusting than the political conditions here."
I ask Ai why he is speaking so strongly, and if he fears repercussions? "It is the only thing I am not worried about. I am 50 years old. My father was in jail when he was 30, then he was sent into exile," he says. "It is never too late. A person has to do something. We must continuously act by ourselves, to make decisions to participate or to resist. We must draw our own lines."