Re-enactments for Photography

Yasumasa Morimura

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Morimura as Michael Jackson and Madonna, in the same image.

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Morimura as Marylin Monroe, re-enacting advertisements for the Seven Year Itch.

Yasumasa Morimura (born 1951, Osaka, Japan) has been working as a conceptual photographer and filmmaker for more than three decades. Through extensive use of props, costumes, makeup, and digital manipulation, the artist masterfully transforms himself into recognizable subjects, often from the Western cultural canon. Morimura has based works on seminal paintings by Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, and Diego Velázquez, as well as images culled from historical materials, mass media, and popular culture. The artist’s reinvention of iconic photographs and art historical masterpieces challenges the associations the viewer has with the subjects, while also commenting on Japan’s complex absorption of Western culture. Through his depiction of female stars and characters, Morimura subverts the concept of the “male gaze”; within each image he both challenges the authority of identity and overturns the traditional scope of self-portraiture.- http://www.luhringaugustine.com/artists/yasumasa-morimura/bio

Francisco Goya The White Duchess / La Duquesa Blanca (194 x 130 cm) oil on canvas 1795
Francisco Goya
The White Duchess / La Duquesa Blanca (194 x 130 cm)
oil on canvas
1795 https://www.wikiart.org/en/francisco-goya/duchess-of-alba-the-white-duchess-1795
Yasumasa Morimura Dedicated to La Duquesa de Alba/ White Alba , 2004 C-Print on canvas Edition of 10 35 3/8 X 23 5/8 inches
Yasumasa Morimura
Dedicated to La Duquesa de Alba/ White Alba , 2004
http://www.luhringaugustine.com/artists/yasumasa-morimura C-Print on canvas
Edition of 10
35 3/8 X 23 5/8 inches
Le Saut dans le vide (Leap into the Void); Photomontage by Shunk Kender of a performance by Klein at Rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960
Yves Klein, Le Saut dans le vide (Leap into the Void); Photomontage by Shunk Kender of a performance by Klein at Rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1992.5112/
Yasumasa Morimura A Requiem: Theater of Creativity/ Self-portrait as Yves Klein , 2010 Gelatin silver print Edition of 10 47 1/4 X 35 3/8 inches
Yasumasa Morimura
A Requiem: Theater of Creativity/ Self-portrait as Yves Klein , 2010
Gelatin silver print
Edition of 10
http://www.luhringaugustine.com/artists/yasumasa-morimura 47 1/4 X 35 3/8 inches

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Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is a contemporary master of socially critical photography. She is a key figure of the “Pictures Generation,” a loose circle of American artists who came to artistic maturity and critical recognition during the early 1980s, a period notable for the rapid and widespread proliferation of mass media imagery.

Sherman turned to photography toward the end of the 1970s in order to explore a wide range of common female social roles, or personas. Sherman sought to call into question the seductive and often oppressive influence of mass-media over our individual and collective identities. Turning the camera on herself in a game of extended role playing of fantasy Hollywood, fashion, mass advertising, and “girl-next-door” roles and poses, Sherman ultimately called her audience’s attention to the powerful machinery and make-up that lay behind the countless images circulating in an incessantly public, “plugged in” culture. – http://www.theartstory.org/artist-sherman-cindy.htm

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Untitled Film Still #30. 1979 https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/cindysherman/gallery/chronology/#/0/undefined/
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Untitled Film Still #35. 1979 https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/cindysherman/gallery/chronology/#/0/undefined/

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Untitled #216. 1989 https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/cindysherman/gallery/chronology/#/0/undefined/
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Untitled #213. 1989 https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/cindysherman/gallery/chronology/#/0/undefined/

Adi Nes

Adi Nes, a photographer working in Israel, makes meticulously crafted images that are both autobiographical and attest to living in a country in conflict. Nes’s photographs are reminiscent of Renaissance or Baroque paintings, often based on parables and collective cultural memory. Sexual tension is ever-present in Nes’ work, as he delves into complex explorations of homoeroticism. His goal is to reveal a universal humanism in his dramatic portraits.

In one of his most well known images, Nes recreates Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper but replaces the central figures with Israeli solders. This photograph appeared on the front page of the New York Times in 2008 and helped establish Nes as one of Israel’s most acclaimed photographers. “My staged photographs are oversized and often recall well-known scenes from Art History and Western Civilization combined with personal experiences based on my life as a gay youth growing up in a small town on the periphery of Israeli society.” says Nes in an interview at the Israeli Center in San Francisco.- http://www.jackshainman.com/artists/adi-nes/

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Leonardo da Vinci Year 1495-1498 Leonardo Da Vinci tempera on gesso, pitch, and mastic 460 cm × 880 cm (181 in × 346 in) Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Supper_(Leonardo_da_Vinci)#/media/File:%C3%9Altima_Cena_-_Da_Vinci_5.jpg

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Jeff Wall

hokkusai jeffwallWall photographed actors in a landscape located outside his home town, Vancouver, at times when similar weather conditions prevailed over a period of five months. He then collaged elements of the photograph digitally in order to achieve the desired composition. The result is a tableau which appears staged in the manner of a classical painting…In Hokusai’s image the landscape is a curving path through a reed-filled area next to a lake, leading towards Mount Fuji in the far distance. In Wall’s version, flat brown fields abut onto a canal. Small shacks, a row of telegraph poles and concrete pillars and piping evoke industrial farming. The unromantic nature of the landscape is reinforced by a small structure made of corrugated iron in the foreground. The pathway on which the figures stand is a dirt track extending along the front of the photograph from one side to the other. There is no sense of connection between the characters, whose position in the landscape appears incongruous. Two wear smart city clothes, adding to the sense of displacement. -Tate Britain, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wall-a-sudden-gust-of-wind-after-hokusai-t06951/text-summaryJeff Wall,  

Picture for Women, 1979

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Édouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882

Picture for Women, made in 1979 and taking Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère as a reference point. Earlier paintings by Manet are often seen as the starting points for modern art and the painting is in the Courtauld collection, making it both an appropriate source for Wall and one he knew well. In Manet’s painting, the woman behind the bar takes centre stage – Wall describes her as being ‘in an everyday working situation which was also a situation of specularity’ – and the mirror behind her means we see her twice within the picture. The mirror is playing tricks through; the reflection seems odd, wrong even. In Wall’s reworking, the woman is clearly the main subject but Wall himself is also present, along with his camera which makes the use of the mirror – and thus our role as spectator – all the more apparent. We are seeing only the reflection rather than the scene.”

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“There are obvious differences between Manet’s painting and Wall’s photograph, to the extent that one would be forgiven for not getting the reference – it’s certainly nothing like as close a reworking as A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai) but then the directness of that reference extends to the title – but the similarities are evident in the expressions on the faces of both the woman in the foreground and the man in the background. In both, the mirror plays an important role as a layer of confusion; it raises questions of spectatorship and of the gaze. And in both works the power dynamic between the sexes is being explored but in each in a way that is particular to the politics of the day.” From https://imageobjecttext.com/2012/07/01/remaking-history/

Hu Jieming

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“Hu Jieming is one of the pioneering artists of digital media and video installation art in today’s China. One of his main focuses is the simultaneity of the old and the new: A theme he constantly comments upon and questions in a variety of media ranging from photography, video works, digital interactive technology, and architectural juxtapositions with musical comments.”
 
“In Raft of the Medusa (2002) he references to Theodore’s Gericault’s seminal and allegorical image, the Raft of the Medusa (1819). The historical painting serves as a mytho-poetic memorial of the 150 lost souls onboard the raft after a fatal shipwreck, from which only 15 survived. The painting very elegantly undermines the traditional heroic 19th century historical painting, and, instead, conveys a society in sinking collapse. Hu Jieming parallels this historic occurrence to the regime of the Cultural Revolution with all its sinister cruelty. His Raft of the Medusa, thus, is more than just a reference to the past: The photos are composed of today’s excessive amount of consumer goods and advertisement imagery. Additionally, Hu Jieming juxtaposes pictures of today’s youth in gestures of self-indulgent hedonism with monochrome grey pictures of the suppressed people in traditional mao-uniforms. These compositions made of images appropriated from different socio-political realities signify a strong critical engagement with both history and the present – it is a concern ranging beyond pure private considerations.- http://www.shanghartgallery.com/galleryimage/image/10109/pdfview
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Théodore Géricault Raft of Medusa 1818–1819 Oil on canvas 491 cm × 716 cm (16 ft 1 in × 23 ft 6 in)
Hu Jieming, Raft of Medusa, 2002
Hu Jieming, Raft of Medusa, 2002 http://www.shanghartgallery.com/galleryimage/image/10109/pdfview

Yinka Shonibare

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“Yinka Shonibare MBE was born in 1962 in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. Shonibare’s work explores issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and film. Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions.- http://www.yinkashonibarembe.com/biography/

Shonibare’s ambitious photographic suite Diary of a Victorian Dandy has frequently been considered in relation to the satirical art of the 18th-century painter and caricaturist William Hogarth. Shonibare’s photographs resonate with Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (1735), which chronicled the dissipation and ruin of its protagonist, but they avoid its moralizing tenor. Instead, Shonibare’s work celebrates excess and decadence, while inverting the stereotype of otherness through the figure of the black dandy (played by Shonibare himself) with his fawning white servants and acolytes.

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Themes of leisure, frivolity, self-invention and social mobility are played out through the figure of the dandy, whose circulation in upper-class English social circles was often linked to his style and wit. Shonibare has described his attraction to the dandy as an “outsider [who] upsets the social order of things.” As their titles indicate, Shonibare’s photographs depict a day in the life of his fictional dandy–from his late morning rise, to his afternoon business and social activities, to a decadent sexual adventure at 3 a.m.”- https://africa.si.edu/exhibits/shonibare/dandy.html

Thomas Demand

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“Thomas Demand studied with the sculptor Fritz Schwegler, who encouraged him to explore the expressive possibilities of architectural models.

Demand makes mural-scale photographs, but instead of finding his subject matter in landscapes, buildings, and crowds, he uses paper and cardboard to reconstruct scenes he finds in images taken from various media sources. Once he has photographed his re-created environments—always devoid of figures but often displaying evidence of recent human activity—Demand destroys his models, further complicating the relationship between reproduction and original that his photography investigates.”- http://www.matthewmarks.com/new-york/artists/thomas-demand/

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Uwe Barschel at the Hotel Beau-Rivage, Geneva, 11th of October, 1987.

“One of the most iconic photographs of post-war Germany: the politician Uwe Barschel found dead in a bathtub in a hotel in Geneva. It is a highly voyeuristic image and one can only assume that the journalists decided to pull back the shower curtain in order to get a better view of Barschel. The strong flashlight of the camera captures every little detail: Barschel lies fully clothed in a bathtub, his body submerged in water, his head leaning towards the side. A few details of the photograph are intriguing: his collar button is opened and his tie is loosened, his hair is wet despite being above water and his wristwatch peaks out from his sleeve. The non-water proof wristwatch would later give an indication of Barschel’s time of death. All these elements further raised the intrigue of what happened to Barschel.

Until this day, the circumstances of Barschel’s death have not been resolved. (…)

The German photographer Thomas Demand who is well-known for his reconstructions of iconographic images, rebuilt the bathtub in room 317 of the Hotel Beau-Rivage in paper and cardboard. There is no trace of Barschel himself in Demand’s reconstruction, yet the vantage point of the camera, the bathroom tiles, even the water level in the bathtub remain strikingly similar to the original photograph published by Stern magazine. As if to grant the deceased subject more privacy, Demand drew the curtain slightly closed. Demand’s image is a comment on the role of photography in the production and consumption of memory.” http://visualcultureblog.com/2010/10/death-in-a-bathtub/

Kristan Horton 

Kristan Horton uses a variety of media—including but not limited to photography—to elaborate on the ways in which movement is represented, and the ways in which things are generated and regenerated. Horton studied at Ontario College of Art and Design and the University of Guelph, where he received his MFA in 2007. Preoccupations since the 1990s include the consumption of texts and mass media, the representation of simultaneous and rotated scenes, and the visualization of power generation. Horton is well known for his photographic series Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove (2003–6), for which he recreated scenes of a Kubrick film using items from his studio.- http://canadianart.ca/artists/kristan-horton/

series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200.
Dr Strangelove, 2003-2006 series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200. http://www.kristanhorton.com/kgh2003dsds.html
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http://www.kristanhorton.com/kgh2003dsds.html
series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200.
series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200. http://www.kristanhorton.com/kgh2003dsds.html
series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200.
series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200. http://www.kristanhorton.com/kgh2003dsds.html
series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200.
series of 200 photos: each 27.9 x 76.2 cm, giclee prints on archival photo paper mounted on aluminum. An artist book containing all 200. http://www.kristanhorton.com/kgh2003dsds.html

Adad Hannah

Adad Hannah is known for staged tableaux vivant videos that often revisit or re-enact famed paintings and artworks. Hannah received his BFA from Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1998 and his MFA from Montreal’s Concordia University in 2004. Hannah has completed projects in diverse locales, with casts that often challenge and update the meanings of the works he’s referencing.- Canadian Art, http://canadianart.ca/artists/adad-hannah/

Adad Hannah, Black Water Ophelia

Adad Hannah, Raft of Medusa

Blackwater Ophelia is inspired by the 1852 painting Ophelia by John Everett Millais, and by a visit Hannah made to the Aamjiwnaang First Nation community in Lambton County, in 2010.

“I have liked this painting for a long time; it is so lush and melancholic. It also depicts nature, but nature as seen in the middle of the nineteenth century, a nature laying itself out for the photographic—which is really a nature constructed by and for photography. To restage this scene for photography, in a painstaking manner using silk flowers and a built set draws attention to the artifice of photographic images, while still seducing with the same techniques Millais used 150 years ago. This double reading/double presence is interesting for me, and hopefully for viewers as well.”- Adad Hannah, http://adadhannah.com/projects/show/blackwater_ophelia/

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Sir John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1851-52, oil on canvas, 762 x 1118 mm https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/John_Everett_Millais_-_Ophelia_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
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Adad Hannah Blackwater Ophelia 2013, colour photograph 99 x 164 cm / 39 x 64.5 in. Edition of 7. http://adadhannah.com/projects/show/blackwater_ophelia/
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Adad Hannah Ophelia Sitting 2013, colour photograph 99 x 148 cm / 39 x 58.5 in. Edition of 7. http://adadhannah.com/projects/show/blackwater_ophelia/
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Théodore Géricault 1818–1819 Oil on canvas 491 cm × 716 cm (16 ft 1 in × 23 ft 6 in)
The Raft of the Medusa (100 Mile House) 4 2009, colour photograph 100.5 x 133.5 cm / 39.5 x 52.5 in. Edition of 5. 51 x 68.5 cm / 20 x 27 in. Edition of 5.
The Raft of the Medusa (100 Mile House) 4
2009, colour photograph
100.5 x 133.5 cm / 39.5 x 52.5 in. Edition of 5.
51 x 68.5 cm / 20 x 27 in. Edition of 5.

 

Jo-Anne Balcaen

“Jo-Anne Balcaen makes work in installation, video, and print media. Over the past 10 years, her practice has largely focused on the mythical nature of rock music and its attendant phenomena of adulation and delusion.

“In the spirit of collaboration and a “no-pressure” work ethic, Donna Akrey and I produced a series of 13 portraits that re-stage vinyl record covers of famous rock, pop, folk and country music duos from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Three basic rules were set. First, we could only work with albums we either owned, or could purchase at Death of Vinyl / La Fin du Vinyle, our neighbourhood vinyl record shop for which the project was originally conceived and exhibited in April-May 2012. Second, we could only use clothing we either already owned, or which could be found at our local thrift store in a single shopping trip. Finally, any props such as facial hair, backgrounds, etc., could only be fashioned from materials readily found in my studio. Working within this self-imposed limit of equipment and skills, we cast ourselves as Hall and Oates, WHAM!, Simon and Garfunkel, and more, all in an effort to capture the emotional – if not physical – essence of their image.” – Jo- Anne Balcaen, http://www.joannebalcaen.ca/portfolio/re-duo/

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Installation view, Dr .Disc, Hamilton, ON //www.joannebalcaen.ca/portfolio/re-duo/

Joanne Balcaen, Re-Duo

Chris Ironside:

http://chrisironside.com/

From the series: Mr. Long Weekend, 05, 2005

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei http://www.chicagoparksfoundation.org/public-art-in-chicago-ai-weiweis-circle-of-animalszodiac-heads/
Ai Weiwei
http://www.chicagoparksfoundation.org/public-art-in-chicago-ai-weiweis-circle-of-animalszodiac-heads/

Ai Weiwei 艾未未 is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist who is highly and publicly critical of the Chinese government’s stance on human rights.

Having spent his formative years as an artist in New York in the 1980s, when… conceptual and performance art were dominant, he knows how to combine his life and art into a daring and politically charged performance that helps define how we see modern China. He’ll use any medium or genre—sculpture, ready-mades, photography, performance, architecture, tweets and blogs—to deliver his pungent message.

Ai’s persona—which, as with Warhol’s, is inseparable from his art—draws power from the contradictory roles that artists perform in modern culture. The loftiest are those of martyr, preacher and conscience. Not only has Ai been harassed and jailed, he has also continually called the Chinese regime to account.- Mark Stevens, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/is-ai-weiwei-chinas-most-dangerous-man-17989316/?no-ist

 

Study of Perspective
Study of Perspective (1995-2003)

Study ofPerspective (1995 to 2003) is one of Ai Weiwei’s most controversial series, where he photographs himself flipping off important monuments around the world. He describes it as his personal form of rebellion against any government authority who blatantly or covertly disregard the freedoms of its citizens.

There can be a powerful assertion behind a single gesture when used in the proper context. With a raise of his middle finger, Ai champions the social responsibility and individualism of the generation, and shows just how fragile the powerful can truly be.

There are no outdoor sports as graceful as throwing stones at a dictatorship.” says Ai Weiwei in an interview with BBC Radio 1 – http://www.theplaidzebra.com/that-time-ai-weiwei-flipped-off-the-worlds-most-important-monuments-to-prove-a-point-photos/

 

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Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain.

Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape.

Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports. Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.

A short documentary about the process of making Sunflower Seeds can be found here.

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Still from Ai Weiwei: Sunflower Seeds, 2010, http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/unilever-series-ai-weiwei-sunflower-seeds

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Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds Kui Hua Zi, 2010, Porcelain, Dimensions Overall display dimensions variable, http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/unilever-series-ai-weiwei-sunflower-seeds

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The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds, interior of Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, 2010, http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/unilever-series-ai-weiwei-sunflower-seeds

 

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DROPPING A HAN DYNASTY URN, gelatin silver print on Alu Dibond, in three parts each: 136 by 109cm.; 53 1/2 by 42 7/8 in. 1995-2004. http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.42.html/2016/contemporary-art-evening-auction-l16020

 

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Colored Vases (2010, 2009), groupings of Han Dynasty pots (from 200DC-220AD) covered in industrial paint. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00524/147854194__524568b.jpg

 

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Forever Bicycles by Ai Wei Wei, 1,200 bicycles, 2011 Photo at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2011, http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2011/10/forever-bicycles-by-ai-weiwei/

 

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Forever Bicycles by Ai Wei Wei, 1,200 bicycles, 2011 Photo at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2011, http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2011/10/forever-bicycles-by-ai-weiwei/

 

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Ai Weiwei, Bang, an installation in the German pavilion, 886 wooden stools, Venice Biennale 2013 http://www.thisiscolossal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/aiweiwei-1.jpeg

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/06/bang-ai-weiweis-latest-installation-made-from-886-antique-stools/
http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/06/bang-ai-weiweis-latest-installation-made-from-886-antique-stools/

 

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Ai Weiwei, Remembering, 2009, 9000 children’s backpacks, 100x1000cm, Haus der Kunst, München (Germany), http://publicdelivery.org/ai-weiwei-remembering-haus-der-kunst-muenchen-2009/

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(Detail) Ai Weiwei, Remembering, 2009, 9000 children’s backpacks, 100x1000cm, Haus der Kunst, München (Germany)

 

Ai Weiwei, Reframe, 22 rubber boats installed at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, 2016, http://www.designboom.com/art/ai-weiwei-florence-palazzo-strozzi-rubber-life-boats-libero-reframe-exhibition-09-14-2016/
Ai Weiwei, Reframe, 22 rubber boats installed at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, 2016, http://www.designboom.com/art/ai-weiwei-florence-palazzo-strozzi-rubber-life-boats-libero-reframe-exhibition-09-14-2016/

 

Ai Weiwei, Reframe, 22 rubber boats installed at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, 2016, http://www.designboom.com/art/ai-weiwei-florence-palazzo-strozzi-rubber-life-boats-libero-reframe-exhibition-09-14-2016/
Ai Weiwei, Reframe, 22 rubber boats installed at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, 2016, http://www.designboom.com/art/ai-weiwei-florence-palazzo-strozzi-rubber-life-boats-libero-reframe-exhibition-09-14-2016/

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Ai Weiwei, 14000 used life jackets from Lesvos, installed at Konzerthaus in Berlin, Germany, 2016, http://www.designboom.com/art/ai-weiwei-life-jackets-refugee-konzerthaus-berlin-02-15-2016/