Ai Weiwei at Cycladic Museum
From the 20th of May until the 30th of October this year, the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens will be hosting for the first time the famous Ai Weiwei and his works. Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist and political activist. He has collaborated with architects as an artistic consultant for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. Ai Weiwei has also been active in areas of documentary and filmmaking. Ideologically, he has stood up against the democratic practises of China and has been critical of the quality of life of the Chinese people in the modern days. Traditionally he has worked on big installations and sculptures that combine crafting with political consciousness, always remaining loyal to his selection of “ancient-like” materials. His works have been exposed to various important Museums and Institutions, however, this is the first time that we meet the artist in Greece.
The exhibition will be centered on matters of the political and social reality. Since the museum has a long tradition on the promotion of ancient cultures of Cyprus and the Aegean, the work of Ai Weiwei will be centered on emphasizing the importance of memory and heritage. The main materials that have been traditionally used by the artist are marble and wood that particularly aim at creating a dialogue with the past and the ancient techniques of creation. The museum will be displaying 25 works including some of the most celebrated ones, Grapes (2011), Mask (2011), Divina Proportione (2012) and Cao (2014) and will also feature a new, previously unseen work which has been inspired by the museum’s collection. The works are very thought-provocative, although made of simple materials. Critics have claimed for his kind of work, that although it always carries important historical and cultural allusions to the past, it never ceases to hope for the future.
Ai Weiwei retains a specific interest about the refugee crisis in Greece. Since 2015, he has set up a studio in Lesbos, whose aim is to produce art which will address the problem of immigration in Greece nowadays. For almost six months, the exhibition will be open to the public, so do not miss out on this opportunity if you happen to be in Athens during those dates!