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The image depicts a gray-scale tryptichon showing the artist Ai Weiwei dropping a Han dynasty urn to the ground

Installation view of Ai Weiwei: Zodiac, Vito Schnabel Gallery, St. Moritz, January 27 – April 8, 2023; Artworks © Ai Weiwei; Photo by Stefan Altenburger; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

It took Ai Weiwei just a few seconds to destroy 2000 years of history. In 1995, in a landmark performance, he threw an urn from the Han dynasty to the ground. The only trace that remains of this historically charged object is the photographic triptych made during the subversive act, which questions the relationship between past and present, ancient and modern, original and copy, loss and preservation...