The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) opened to the public yesterday with an exhibition of the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. The exhibition lineup for its new building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the team along with Ai Weiwei behind the Beijing National Olympic Stadium, promotes a wide-ranging roster of exhibitions examining the interpretation and appropriation of cultural and political identities, economic structures, and commodities generated by Miami’s diverse population and its position as a cross-cultural hub. The spectacular architecture, situated on the edge of the Miami inner waterway provides a setting that is conducive to mounting international exhibitions of importance. The building provides clean space and natural light with a grand staircase that doubles up as an auditorium.
Ai Weiwei: According to What? is the first major international survey of this vital artist’s multifaceted artistic oeuvre. This exhibition reveals Ai’s practice as emerging from an ever-questioning dialogue with the social, political and cultural positions of his native China and the world at large. Ai (b. 1957) works in a range of media, including architecture and design, and this exhibition will feature work of the last 20 years, including photography and the large-scale sculptures for which the artist is best known. These sculptures, often made from modified found objects, suggest the irreverent nature of Ai’s project and reconfigure materials in new and evocative ways. With a broad formal range, Ai has continuously challenged possible meanings and modes of art making, most recently employing the Internet and its global reach as a platform for activism and expression. His provocative and beautiful works of art and architecture are an exploration of the transformative potential of contemporary art, which he said is “not a form but a philosophy of society.”
Ai Weiwei: According to What? is organized by Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). It is curated by Mami Kataoka, Mori Art Museum Chief Curator, and Tobias Ostrander, PAMM Chief Curator. December 4, 2013 – March 16, 2014
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