On September 27th visitors to Alcatraz Island will get an extra element to explore, an art exhibit by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. The exhibit explores human rights and freedom of expression in seven site-specific installations in four locations, some areas not usually open to the public, throughout the island.
A recording is from Illumination, one of the sound installations, which makes use of the prison hospital – an Alcatraz site not normally open to daytime visitors.
The title of international art star Ai Weiwei’s installation on Alcatraz, @Large, is a contradiction, since the artist himself is anything but. The unusual exhibition on the site of the famous penitentiary opens this weekend and explores themes of freedom and imprisonment.
Ai Weiwei’s highly anticipated project on Alcatraz Island is finally here. “@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz” features seven site-specific installations inspired by both the artist’s personal experiences following his detainment by the Chinese government and the history of the 19th century Bay Area prison.
The highly anticipated “@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz,” which opens to the public on Saturday, depends too much on the sort of patience and reflection that few people may ever bring to a tourist destination.
Ai Weiwei Takes His Work to a Prison
On September 27, @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, a series of site-specific commissions within the historic former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary will debut. Don’t expect to see the artist; he remains unable to travel, though his ideas will be everywhere.
Taking over four rooms of Alcatraz - the former military prison, site of Native American protests and now one of America's most famous national parks - Weiwei's seven site-specific installations aim to prompt visitors to consider the experience of police force, as well as the art as an act of conscience.
The Alcatraz exhibition, opening Sept. 27, will feature sculptures, sound installations and other mixed-media work scattered among various locations on the Northern California island.
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Ai's Alcatraz show is a joint project of the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, which oversee the penitentiary-turned-park, and the San Francisco-based For-Site Foundation, a nonprofit that commissions artwork in public places.