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Chinese Activist Ai Weiwei Displays His Work in Vienna

Published: June 30, 2016; 17:00 · (FriedlNews)

The conceptual artist, documentary filmmaker and activist Ai Weiwei is one of the most well known artists of our time. The 21er Haus will present his work at the exhibition “Ai Weiwei. translocation – transformation” from 14 July to 20 November 2016.

Chinese Activist Ai Weiwei Displays His Work in Vienna / Picture: © Wikipedia / Andy Miah

Architecture is one of the many languages that Ai Weiwei uses to express his messages. On the subject of Vienna, he responds with his knowledge of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy and is enthusiastic about the Viennese town house planned by the famous philosopher between 1926 and 1928 for his sister Margarethe.

Indeed, its clear structure served as a model for Ai Weiwei’s studio in Beijing.

Architecture creates identification, regardless of whether it is the Austrian pavilion built for the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958 (today’s 21er Haus) or the ancestral temple of a prominent Chinese family from the late Ming dynasty.

Both extraordinary buildings share a history of having been moved and invested with new functions.

From 29 June 2016 the pavilions will enter into a powerful dialogue at the 21er Haus and together with further works by Ai Weiwei will broach the issues of transformation and translocation.

Ai Weiwei (* 1957) is a Chinese conceptual artist, sculptor, architect, and curator. With both his art and his targeted use of social media, he levels criticism against the regime in his home country and stimulates social and political awareness. His fame as one of the most influential figures in the international art world is reflected in the numerous solo exhibitions to have taken place within the past decade—at the Haus der Kunst in Munich (2009), at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (2009), in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London (2010), at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin (2014), at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2015), and many more.

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