- Tom Steyer calls for reparations Tuesday 9:05 PM
- Etika mural added as official PokéStop in Pokémon Go Tuesday 8:35 PM
- Debate devolves into candidates shouting ‘math’ at each other Tuesday 8:19 PM
- Bloomberg rolls his eyes when challenged over sexist comments Tuesday 8:18 PM
- Bloomberg almost accidentally claims he ‘bought’ Congress Tuesday 8:03 PM
- ‘Dick Pound’ and ‘Bisexual Men Exist’ trend together–Twitter goes wild Tuesday 7:54 PM
- James Charles receives backlash over ‘racist’ imitation of Latinx TikTok character, Rosa Tuesday 7:06 PM
- Video shows people harassing elderly Asian man while he collects cans Tuesday 6:23 PM
- Bob Iger steps down as Disney CEO, prompting conspiracy theories Tuesday 5:53 PM
- Bhad Bhabie threatens to kill Skai Jackson amid feud involving their moms Tuesday 4:51 PM
- Body camera shows officer boasting about arresting a 6-year-old Tuesday 3:58 PM
- Singer Duffy opens up about the rape, captivity that led her to stop singing Tuesday 3:51 PM
- Cynthia Nixon embodies feminist rage in viral video Tuesday 3:30 PM
- Samsung factory shuts down amid confirmed coronavirus case Tuesday 3:08 PM
- Bebe Rexha says she won’t be ‘imprisoned’ by bipolar disorder Tuesday 2:33 PM
Ai Weiwei, Instagram, and the mystery of the ‘leg gun’ meme
Point and foot.
No, not actual guns, like Rose McGowan’s machine leg in Planet Terror. Rather, people are posing as if their leg is a rifle, and Ai Weiwei has been collecting the images on his Instagram account. This performance started on Wednesday, when he posted a selfie of sorts.
Others followed suit, some acting out shootings or executions, some engaging in solo interpretations.
But what is Ai Weiwei protesting, or critiquing, or signal boosting? The Guardian points out that he retweeted the blog Beijing Cream, which commented that the leg poses look a lot like those in the 1964 Chinese ballet, Red Detachment of Women. An image was posted to his Instagram on Wednesday.
The 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square also recently occured, though this meme has crossed over from Chinese social media to Western.
— Aaron Carmichael (@transliterated) June 13, 2014
Ai Weiwei has not officially commented on the series, but it could be part of a larger art project. He also just backed digital art site The Space. Anthony Tao of Beijing Cream posed a question that applies not just to Ai Weiwei’s Instagram, but the Internet at large:
“Is there something more subversive going on here, or is the point of this to make us over-analyze a silly meme?”
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.