From PAR57 (2018): As border relationships tense globally, #AiWeiwei's new multi-site #installation across New York—the city famous for that beacon of #hope, the Statue of Liberty—use metal wire security #fencing to stand for both the real and the conceptual walls we raise.
Commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the Public Art Fund and open Oct 12, 2017 - Feb 11, 2018, Ai's Good Fence's Make Good Neighbors comprises 100+ #fences throughout the city. . . . . .
Ai, who lived in #NewYork in the 1980s, often makes work reflective of the plight of immigrants and refugees. His 2016 Reframe (see PAR56) covered two facades of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence with 22 rubber dinghies used by Syrian refugees to cross the Mediterranean.
Referring to #GoodFences, the artist told the New York Times, "We are witnessing a rise in nationalism, an increase in the closure of borders, and an exclusionary attitude towards migrants and refugees, the victims of war and the casualties of globalization." His powerful new project, whose title references Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall," challenges us all to be better neighbors.
All photos Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY: (1-2) by Timothy Schenck: Simulating a border perimeter, Ai's "Circle Fence" (2017) surrounds the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park with powder coated mild steel and polypropylene (mesh) netting. (3) Photo by Ai Weiwei Studio, courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio/Frahm & Frahm: painted steel "Gilded Cage" (2017) comprises a series of turnstiles as a reference to the physical barriers encountered by refugees. On view in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park. (4) by Ai Weiwei Studio: In "Harlem Shelter 1" (2017), a mesh fence made of galvanized mild steel surrounds a bus shelter. (5-6) by Jason Wyche, courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio/Frahm & Frahm: "Arch" (2017) creates an imposing mirrored stainless steel #archway inside the larger Washington Square Arch in Washington Square Park, NYC, (6) Banner 112, 2017. CNC-cut Polymar truck tarp.
#publicart #gateway #artmatters #politicalart #artinpublicplaces #streetart #immigrationart #socialjustice #sculpture #fences #installationart #mendingwall #goodfencesmakegoodneighbors