If you've got a Netflix streaming account you've probably seen (or just seen the icon) for the documentary about Ai Weiwei. If you didn't watch it, here's a little background: He's a world famous Beijing-based artist who advocates for human rights and freedom to make art and who in 2011 was detained in China due to his very public, anti-government political statements, and currently is still restricted from leaving the country.
Even while he's being held in China, he's making groundbreaking international art pieces, and one of his most recent projects will be a site-specific piece in San Francisco. "@Large" will be created specifically for Alcatraz, and will be on view September 27, 2014 through April 26, 2015. During the exhibit's run, Alcatraz will feature sculpture, sound, and mixed-media works in various spaces around the island, including areas that aren't usually open to the public. So even if you aren't a fan of Ai Weiwei's art, this show will be worth checking out just for that extra access to Alcatraz.
Ai Weiwei chose Alcatraz because of its history – before it became a national park and one of SF's most visited tourist sites, and even before it was the notorious federal prison, it was a military fortress during the Civil War. After the prison closed, it became the site of a famous Native American protest in the late '60s and early '70s. Alcatraz stands for so much throughout its past and present, including incarceration, injustice, political unrest, freedom of speech, and human rights. It seems like the perfect place for Ai Weiwei.
FOR-SITE Foundation currently has a Kickstarter campaign for @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, which will go to hire and train a team of art guides for this very special exhibition on the Rock. Art guides will "answer visitors' questions and help people understand and connect with Ai Weiwei's work." So basically, your money is going to ensure that this is going to be an awesome art show. The campaign currently has almost 170 backers, and $65,000 of the $75,000 needed with 66 hours to go.
Tickets for "@Large" go on sale on June 27. Save the date in your planner: You'll definitely want to buy them ASAP because they will sell out quickly!
Photo via Thinkstock
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