Thursday, August 20, 2015

Two videos about Ai Wei Wei and upcoming RA exhibition

On 19th September, a major exhibition of work by the leading Chinese contemporary artist Ai Wei Wei opens at the Royal Academy of Art.
  • The exhibition is the first major institutional survey of his artistic output
  • It's been curated in collboration with Ai Wei Wei from his studio in Beijing.
  • It includes 
    • significant works from 1993 - when Ai Weiwei returned to China - after more than a decade spent living in New York
    • new site-specific installations and interventions across various spaces within the RA and its courtyard.
Ahead of the opening of the exhibition, The Royal Academy of Art have published two videos on YouTube of an interview with Ai Wei Wei (website) done by Tim Marlow, the new Director of Artistic Programmes at the RA (and formerly of the White Cube).

Ai Weiwei, Video Recorder, 2010
Marble, 43 x 19 x 19 cm
Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio | Image courtesy Ai Weiwei | (c) Ai Weiwei

Ai has made a number of films using handheld video cameras over the past twenty years many of which document significant events such as the changing face of Beijing, the impact on the families of the victims of the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 and the demolition of his Shanghai studio in 2011. The hand carved marble video recorder eternalises the equipment Ai uses to record these events and to question the rights of the individual. 
These are those videos. The first one lasts just over 5 minutes and the second one is seven minutes.

In this video, recorded at his home in Beijing, Ai Weiwei talks about his artistic influences and the role of politics in his work. This conversation took place ahead of his major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in autumn 2015.
Ai Weiwei's monumental work 'Straight' will be the heaviest sculpture ever shown at the Royal Academy when it is installed for the artist's major exhibition in September 2015. The work is made from straightened steel reinforcing bars, salvaged from the ruins of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Ai Wei Wei Exhibition details: 

  • Dates: 19 September — 13 December) 
  • Days and times: Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm, Friday 10am – 10pm
  • Venue: Main Galleries, Burlington House
  • Price: £17.60 (without donation £16). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free. 
  • Tickets include a multimedia guide and Friends of the RA will receive one for free.

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