Ai Weiwei: Zodiac

Ai Weiwei: Zodiac

Ai Weiwei: Zodiac
January 27 – March 5, 2023
Vito Schnabel Gallery
By using Maistra 37
7500 St. Moritz Switzerland

Ai Weiwei: Zodiac, an exhibition focused on 3 central groups of do the job from the artist’s oeuvre, such as the triptych Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (2015) twelve wall-based LEGO Zodiac portraits (2018), exhibited for the to start with time and the celebrated sequence Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (2010), comprising twelve sculptures in gilded bronze. Opening January 27, 2023 at Vito Schnabel Gallery St. Moritz area, Ai Weiwei: Zodiac is the gallery’s very first collaboration with the renowned Chinese artist and activist. The exhibition will be on perspective as a result of March 5.

Ai Weiwei: Zodiac
Ai Weiwei, Zodiac (2018), LEGO bricks mounted on aluminium, 75 x 75 inches (190 x 190 cm) ©️ Ai Weiwei Photo by Argenis Apolinario Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

Participating Ai Weiwei’s deep admiration for the Duchampian readymade and his longstanding interest in ancient historic artifacts, the will work on watch in this exhibition raise concerns about authenticity and the development of cultural values, and scrutinize current electricity buildings. Alongside one another, they build pressure concerning earlier and present, historical and modern day, in order to provoke crucial discussions about loss and preservation, repatriation and cultural heritage, censorship and surveillance. With Zodiac,Ai Weiwei invitations the visitor to be a part of in his exploration of the marriage concerning an unique and a duplicate, what is “real” and “fake”, and where by authorship starts and finishes.

Ai Weiwei: Zodiac
Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (2015), LEGO bricks mounted on aluminium, Triptych: 94 5/8 x 75 5/8 x 1 1/8 inches (240.4 x 192 x 3 cm) every ©️ Ai Weiwei Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

In 1995, the artist unveiled Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, one particular of the most provocative operates of his oeuvre up to that stage: a series of black-and-white photographs that captured him shattering a important 2000 12 months-aged ceremonial urn. For the performance documented in these photos, Ai stood ahead of the camera, staring straight into its lens to confront the viewer’s gaze while the digicam shutter clicked. The resulting three photographs of Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn clearly show the urn in the artist’s palms the urn slipping to the ground the urn smashing into shards on the ground. Hard present value techniques by way of a hugely subversive act, this piece was Ai’s reaction to China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-76), its 10 years-very long desecration of antiquities and relics below Chairman Mao, and the consequences of that obliteration by means of a gesture of both of those destruction and transformation.

In the exhibition at Vito Schnabel Gallery, visitors will uncover Ai’s reimagining of this seminal work Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (2015). Developed twenty several years soon after Ai’s breakthrough shattering of an historical urn, the edition on see is rendered in LEGO bricks. Arranged in a few panels, the LEGO blocks accomplish a pixelated black, white and gray-scale impact that approximates electronic imagery and surveillance footage – the pictures-centered idioms acquainted to a technology for whom each day daily life is mediated by the Online.

Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (Dragon) (2010),
Bronze with a gold patina, 35 7/8 x 18 1/8 x 25 7/8 inches (91 x 46 x 66 cm) ©️ Ai Weiwei Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

Drawn to them for their accessibility and playful sensibility, Ai has employed LEGO bricks in his inventive practice considering the fact that 2007. These colourful making blocks are intuitive tools for inventive expression and storytelling by small children and grownups alike. Ai has regularly referred to LEGO as a “language”, an analogous variety of visual conversation that uses patterned, systematic means of creating to express symbols and visible suggestions. Its mixture of flexibility and precision allows the builder to make a certain design– a famous landmark making, for example– from an plan or set of instructions. Its replicability and industrial design as a readymade object, speaks to the impact of his creative forebears, Warhol and Duchamp. Ai describes: “Lego destroys this notion of an ‘original’, which I like.”

The artist’s longstanding assessment of the human affliction and critique of authoritarian methods manifests as a poignant assertion all over his do the job. In the earlier, Ai has used LEGO to convey awareness to human rights violations, functions of censorship, and concerns relating to freedom of expression.

©2023 Ai Weiwei, Vito Schnabel Gallery, Argenis Apolinario