In 2011, dissident artist Ai Weiwei was imprisoned illegally for 81 days in China. The traumatic experience has since informed much of his art, sparking a heavy metal album called The Divine Comedy with anti-authority music videos and a play called #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei. Now Brooklyn is getting a chance to see what it was like for Ai Weiwei in jail with six dioramas that depict scenes from his detainment.
Made out of fiberglass, the dioramas show the artist in a jail cell sleeping, eating, using the bathroom, and being interrogated in front of guards. The six pieces are enclosed in iron boxes and were first shown in an Italian church during the Venice Biennale. This spring, they will appear at the Brooklyn Museum as part of Ai Weiwei's travelling show "According to What?"
The diorama, an enclosed box, is the perfect form to demonstrate imprisonment. Ai Weiwei will also play on similar themes at an equally appropriate venue for an upcoming exhibiton at Alcatraz Island next year.
The curator for Ai Weiwei's show at the Brookyn Museum says, “The work will have a much broader audience at the Brooklyn Museum [than it did in Venice]. Weiwei’s art makes such an important and powerful statement about human rights in China—one that deserves to be shared with as many people as possible.”
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[via The Art Newspaper]