Ai Weiwei Creates New Tent Installation For German Art Festival

The Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is working on a major new project which will be unveiled at this summer’s Emscherkunst triennial art festival in Ruhr region, western Germany.

The installation titled, “Out of Enlightenment”, will utilise a thousand tents and be site specific to the Emscher river. The installation represents an eco project and is reminiscent of the ‘Fairytale People Project’ which was part of the 2007 Documenta art event. In this work Mr Ai invited 1,001 people from the mainland of China to take part in the town of Kassel, Germany, assimilating into the city to record their impressions.  Mr Ai stated, “The idea is to let normal people participate, and their activities will give the… work its sense.” (source TheArtNewspaper)

The artist is creating the tents in his studio in Beijing, where he has been forced to live since his arrest and release last year. The tents will be occupied by two to three people representing and festival goers will be able to rent the tents for  for a nominal price.

40 works of art will be presented over 100 days as part of the Emscherkunst triennial art festival. In 2011 Ai Weiwei, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government was detained for 80 days. He was later charged with tax evasion and fined  ($2.4m, £1.5m). The Chinese authorities banned him from travel for one year, but he has said that he was still subject to travel restrictions, which are unclear to the artist,as they are seemingly imposed at will.

Photo: Big Think

The festival, runs 22 June and 6 October.

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