Buenos Aires, Argentina
25 November 2017–3 April 2018
Fundación Proa presents Inoculación, a remarkable exhibition devoted to public work and social intervention by one of the most famous and influential contemporary artists in the world, Ai Weiwei.
Curated by Marcello Dantas, the exhibition gathers monumental installations, objects, photographs and videos of strong political and symbolic impact, which provide a broad panorama of his most iconic works and give an account of the prolific and intense career of the artist. Recognized for documenting and reflecting on the political and social arbitrariness of the West as well as his country of origin, his artistic practice is developed around freedom of expression, human rights and economic and environmental exploitation.
In Inoculation Ai Weiwei reflects from the personal biography and gives visibility to different social problems that mark the political inconsistencies and gaps between the individual subject and the collective subject in the contemporary world. The artist plays between the old and the present, the past, the present and the future, always denouncing from a critical perspective an ambivalent relationship with his country divided by a deep sense of identity derived from the use of materials, images and traditional techniques of the Chinese culture.
In Inoculation Ai Weiwei understands the entire architecture of Proa as an exhibition space, that includes the sidewalk, the bookstore, and the café, creating an interesting relationship between tradition and modernity. The monumental work Forever Bicycles ( 1254 bicycles) exhibited in the village of Proa, the artist recontextualizes and dismantles an everyday Chinese object such as the bicycle, and with it metaphorizes the permanent change of culture, its metamorphosis, now transformed into a structure gigantic steel, light and shadow.
This new exhibition at Fundacion Proa offers a unique opportunity for the public to explore the creative genius of Ai Weiwei, generating a space to understand his personal narrative and providing a critical vision of the artist’s ambiguous relations with his native China, Western politics and the authoritarianisms, creating in this conjunction of signifiers a strong sense of rebellion in their works.
During the exhibition there will be several parallel activities: master classes, the cycle of Artists + Critics, the publication of a complete catalog in full color with texts by curator Marcello Dantas and John Tancock on the work of Ai Weiwei, as well as a strong proposal education for the better understanding of the exhibition in order to transform Fundación Proa into a space for debate and reflection.
Forever Bicycles, 2017 [Bicycles Forever]
1254 steel bicycles 950 x 1600 x 290 cm. Photograph by Gian Paolo Minelli.