Dispatch from Venice – Ai Weiwei’s Biennale Knockout

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Ai Weiwei’s Disposition at the Zuecca Project Space in Giudecca, Venice, 2013

Forget his politics. Forget his antics. Just look at this picture: Ai Weiwei is an artist who really knows his material, and his substance!

One hundred tons of rebar salvaged from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China which Ai and his co-workers painstakingly straightened and arranged into this astounding installation for this Biennale Collateral Event. Here the raw metal packs an elemental power that is at once beautiful and disturbing.

This year’s Biennale is truly fab – too much to absorb right now. Massimiliano Gioni’s masterful Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace) promised much and delivered more… more later.

 

UPDATES TO BLOG POSTS:

Dispatch from Venice – Ai Weiwei’s Biennale Knockout     (Posted 6/1/2013)

8/22/2015   How did this project come about? Here is a video of a conversation between Ai Wei Wei and Tim  Marlowe, head of exhibitions at the Royal Academy in London in which Ai described his struggles to convey emotions he felt upon seeing the aftermath of the earthquake. He found words inadequate.

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