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Ai Weiwei: Evidence / Retrospective at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Ai Weiwei (born 1957) is an artist, architect and politician. With the solo show Ai Weiwei: Evidence, the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin has prepared one of the biggest exhibitions of Ai Weiwei to date. In 18 rooms and in the spectacular Court (Lichthof) the retrospective features works and installations that were either designed specifically for the building or have not yet been shown in Germany. This video takes you on a walk through the exhibition.

Our tour of Ai Weiwei: Evidence begins in the Entrance Hall of the Martin-Gropius-Bau with the installation Very Yao (2009) and an installation in the The Court which is assembled with 6,000 simple wooden stools (Stools, 2014). The video continues with the large rooms that follow: Souvenir from Shanghai (2012), He Xie (2011), Diaoyu Islands (2014), Forge (2008-2012), Forge Bed (2008-2012), IOU (2011-2013), the video documentation Wenchuan Rebar (2012), Rebar in Marble (2012), Container (2013), Han Dynasty Vases with Auto Paint (2014), Circle of Animals (2011), Monumental Junkyard (2007), Table and Chest with stripped Chairs (2007), One Man Shoe (1987), Study of Perspective (1995-2011), Coffin (2005), Hanger (2013), Beijing: The Second Ring (2005), Beijing: The Third Ring (2005), and finally the works 81 (2013), 4851 (2013) and Untitled (2011). Gereon Sievernich (Curator and Director of the Martin-Gropius-Bau) provides us with an introduction to the exhibition. The beginning and the end of this report features an inserted video message which was pre-recorded by Ai Weiwei in China. The show runs until July 7, 2014.

Ai was the artistic consultant for design, collaborating with the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, also known as the “Bird’s Nest.” Solo exhibitions include the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2014); The Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo (2014); MUSEION – Museum für moderne und zeitgenössische Kunst, Bolzano (2014); Galleria Continua – Le Moulin, Boissy-le-Châtel (2014); PinchukArtCentre, Kiev (2014); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (2014); Perez Art Museum Miami – PAMM, Miami (2013); Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas (2013); The Cleveland Museum of Art (2013); Indianapolis Museum of Art (2013); Galeria Pilar, São Paulo (2013); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2011); Museum of Asian Art, Berlin (2011); Tate Modern, London (2010), etc.

Ai Weiwei’s work was included in the 55th Venice Biennale of Art (2013); Curitiba Biennial (2013); Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2012); The Busan Biennale (2012); Ukrainian Biennale of Contemporary Art, Kiev (2012); Moscow Biennale of contemporary art (2011); Venice Architecture Biennale (2010); Sao Paulo Biennial (2010); Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art (2008); Documenta 12 in Germany (2007); The 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Australia (2006); Busan Biennial in Korea (2006); The 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005); 1st Monpellier Biennial of Chinese Contemporary Art in France (2005); 1st Guangzhou Triennale in China (2002) and 48th Venice Biennale of Art (1999).

Ai Weiwei: Evidence at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (Germany); Interview with Gereon Sievernich (Director of the Martin-Gropius-Bau) and pre-recorded video message by Ai Weiwei; April 2, 2014. Video and interview by Frantisek Zachoval.

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Ai Weiwei: Bang / German Pavilion at French Pavilion / Venice Art Biennale 2013

Warning: For their presentations at this year’s Venice Art Biennale, France and Germany swapped their pavilions, so please watch the signage if you visit the show! I think that this is a fantastic idea. Imagine France is Germany, Europe is Asia, and she is he, and dogs are cats, and everything is everything. There is also some very good reason that the German pavilion features works Ai Weiwei, Romuald Karmakar, Santu Mofokeng, Dayanita Singh, but damn, I guess you just want to see Ai Weiwei’s stools, so here they are: Bang!

Peace!
Didier Benoit

Ai Weiwei: Bang / German Pavilion at French Pavilion / Venice Art Biennale 2013. Venice (Italy), Professional Preview, May 31, 2013.

PS: More info and photos at Designboom.

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Art and the City. Public Art Festival in Zürich West

Art and the City is a public art festival that runs from 9 June until 23 September 2012 in Zürich West, a district in Zürich (Switzerland) that has undergone a dramatic transformation in the recent years. To experience this up-and-coming city district of Zürich, Art and the City invited more than 40 artists and artist groups from all over the world for an exhibition that includes sculptures, installations, performances, posters and interventions. This video takes you on a rather subjective and selective tour of the exhibition on 1 August, the Swiss National Day (which explains the empty streets and the rubber dinghies).

The exhibition includes artists who have been addressing issues of urban development since the 1970s such as Richard Tuttle, Fred Sandback, Yona Friedman and Charlotte Posenenske, as well as a younger generation of artists such as Christian Jankowski, Oscar Tuazon, Los Carpinteros, and Ai Weiwei.

Art and the City has been initiated by the Public Art Task Force (Arbeitsgruppe Kunst im öffentlichen Raum). The exhibition has been put together by the freelance curator and writer Christoph Doswald.

Art and the City. Public Art Festival in Zürich West. Zürich (Switzerland), August 1, 2012.

PS: As part of the Art and the City Public Art Festival, walking artist Hamish Fulton performed one of his slow walks along the Limmat river, called Limmat Art Walk Zürich 2012.

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VernissageTV PDF-Magazine No. 18: Ai Weiwei’s Architecture, Matti Suuronen’s Futuro, Guerra de la Paz’ Venice

Out now: VernissageTV PDF-magazine No. 18, July 2011.

VernissageTV’s PDF Magazin No. 18 has its focus on the two major art events this year, the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, and Art 42 Basel. Highlights of No. 18 are a personal look at five days in Venice by Miami-based artist duo Guerra de la Paz, and exclusive video and audio downloads for the readers of this issue. Then there are photo galleries showing Elmgreen & Dragset’s exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam, and Ai Weiwei’s solo show Art / Architecture at Kunsthaus Bregenz. For design lovers, there’s a report on Matti Suuronen’s Futuro, House of the Future of the 1960s.

Artists in this issue: Ai Weiwei, Matti Suuronen, Elmgreen & Dragset, and Guerra de la Paz.

Click image or this link to download the magazine (20 MB) or hit the jump to view in Issuu Reader.
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Ai Weiwei: Art / Architecture at Kunsthaus Bregenz

The Kunsthaus in Bregenz / Austria explores the architectural work of Ai Weiwei with a solo show titled Art / Architecture. While not as widely presented as his artistic oeuvre, Ai Weiwei’s work in the field of architecture is extremely important for the artist because of the collaborative – that is social and political – aspect of it.

On three floors of architect Peter Zumthor’s Kunsthaus building, the exhibition focuses on Ai Weiwei’s collaborative architecture projects such as the Beijing National Stadium (colloquially as the Bird’s Nest), developed in collaboration with the Pritzker price winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, but also numerous projects with lesser known architects.

This video takes you on a walk through the exhibition. The tour begins on the first floor with architectural models, plans, photographs and video documentations of specific projects, continues on the second floor with Ordos 100 (2011), a piece specifically created for this show, and finally culminates with the most abstract work of the show, Moon Chest (2008).

VernissageTV also met with the director of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Yilmaz Dziewior, who talks about the idea behind the show, the concept of the exhibition, the significance of Ai Weiwei’s architectural work, and the supporting program.

Ai Weiwei: Art / Architecture at Kunsthaus Bregenz. Interview with Director Yilmaz Dziewior. Opening reception, July 15, 2011.

PS: See also: Ai Weiwei: Teahouse (2009) at the Museum of Asian Art, Berlin; Ai Weiwei: Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London; and Acconci Studio and Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project / Para/Site Art Space Hong Kong.

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