Doing a digi-dive into all things Ai Weiwei-related brought a few contrasts to the forefront. The identity of home, the barriers that express it through the ‘Human Flow’ documentary and the installations happening city-wide.
According to Weiwei, the fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbour,’ which are connected to the current global political environment.
America, Europe, South America, Africa – the politics are changing everywhere all the time and becoming even more unpredictable.
Pointing out the correlations between land art and politics, another reveal thats happening concurrently is the #ArchforArch structure that was announced earlier this year at the Design Indaba.
The emphasis of this monument was to celebrate peace, empathy and the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a notable South African social justice activist who stressed non-violent protest. This monument is also meant to evoke some significance to the South Africa’s Constitution. One that has been under fire for decades due to xenophobia (which intertwines with the scope of human rights and refugees); and other democratic policies that connect with humanitarian initiatives.
Like Ai Weiwei’s metal wire security fence, these structures are being transformed into an artistic symbol within their respective environments.
Sidenote: After the Friday morning visit to Democracy Now! (Engage Media Lab); today, Amy Goodman interviewed Ai Weiwei on the Human Flow documentary prior to his art installations being revealed this week.