Saturday, June 22, 2013

Venice: Church of Sant’Antonin - Ai Weiwei – Disposition exhibitions

Venice: Church of Sant’Antonin - Ai Weiwei – Disposition exhibitions. The artist's only major new solo shows in 2013, are on show across two locations in Venice. Above in the Church of Sant’Antonin, Ai Weiwei’s project S.A.C.R.E.D., until September 15 and in the Zuecca Project Space is his Straight exhibition. S.A.C.R.E.D., is a new site-specific presentation, curated by Maurizio Bortolotti for the Venice Biennale at the Church of Sant'Antonin, offering an immediate sense of the drama of an event which underlines the contradictory development of contemporary China. In 2011 Ai Weiwei was imprisoned for eighty-one days in a secret location and here, for the first time, describes the experience of those days in prison and the continuous obsessive surveillance.   The project consists of six metal containers, inside which, key moments of the everyday life of the artist during his imprisonment.

Church of Sant’Antonin - Ai Weiwei. The six episodes of life in prison are the representation, in the form of dioramas inside each container, of different moments of the prisoner’s day.  The containers have small openings through which the visitors can observe individual scenes.

Church of Sant’Antonin - Ai Weiwei. The precision of the details and the painstaking reproduction of the spaces pass through the powerful filter of the artist’s memory, which seems to relive instant after instant in the project, without anguish but with lucid determination.  The works are an effective description of the system of high-proximity surveillance deployed by the detention system to which the artist was subjected.

Church of Sant’Antonin - Ai Weiwei. The titles of the individual dioramas, also point to the relationship they establish with the religious place that hosts them, from the general idea of the ‘sacred’ indicated in the title, to that of ‘ritual’ and ‘renewal’, concluding with the less religious concepts of ‘entropy’ and ‘doubt'.

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