Mr Wendell - eh eh eh eh ooh ya!Man dressed up as Terracotta Warrior infiltrates Terracotta Army for Art Sake. Well, really what other sake would there be? This would be one in the eye for Banksy if Banksy ever did anything in person*. But why can’t it just be called a practical joke? I know practical jokes have had a bad rep since Candid Camera, Beadle and Dom Joly (whither his career now?), but that is all this is, an amusing wheeze. Though clearly scaring a night guard by suddenly coming to life would have been a perfect moment (and straight our of Game For A Laugh).

However the response of the Chinese authorities is priceless. Belying a reputation of authoritarianism, they realised the best way to punish an artist is not to slap him in prison, making a martyr for his art. No, what does any artist really fear? Serious Criticism. I would imagine the conversation going something like this:

Chinese Authorities: So what are you trying to say?
Pablo Wendel: Its art.
CA: No its not, its just you playing dress-up. What is the point of this art?
PW: Its not my job to tell you that. You get out of it what you will.
CA: Hold up, don’t try and pull some sort of post-modernist reversal on us. I’ve got a degree in Art History from the Beijing Normal University, and whilst I am au fait with the concept of the authorless text, that doesn’t excuse the author from having his own opinion on the validity of what to me seems like a cheap stunt to scare a few security guards.
PW: Well, its about identity, isn’t it?
CA: Okay. I’ll buy that. Its about the terracotta army’s identity as a fake war-force and your identity as a twat in a costume with red facepaint on.
PW: But my presence as a live warrior amongst the representational fake warriors surely highlights the futility of the armed forces?
CA: Oh. Are you a warrior? Which army did you fight in?
PW: I’m an artist, that was just figurative.
CA: God help us if there’s a war.

*Actually this “Pablo Wendel” could be Banksy, as we would recognise him, and he does appear to be dressed up like Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat dressed up as a Terracotta Warrior in this photo.