Galleria Continua presents, for the first time in its San Gimignano gallery space, a solo show by chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The exhibition features sculptures, installations, videos and photographs. Recent works, some previously unshown and others on display for the first time in Italy, offer viewers an opportunity to learn more about one of the most important figures in contemporary culture, emphasizing the versatility of the artist and the cornerstones of his art: deferential respect for the Chinese tradition, combined with a great ability to project himself into modernity and an unflagging social and political awareness.
One of the work that has attracted more interest from the audience is ‘Stacked’, an installation composed of 760 stacked bicycles, variation on a symbolically rich subject already explored by the artist in the past. Ai Weiwei uses the bicycle as an iconic object: the principal means of transport in China – “Forever” (Yong Jiu Pai) is the most common bicycle brand in the country – it represents the lives of millions of Chinese citizens; what’s more, with its chain and sprocket mechanism, it somehow depicts the matrix of the labour force: the people. These installations also spotlight the more conceptual aspects of Ai Weiwei’s work; on the one hand, the activation of a process of abstraction whereby the object becomes the symbol-structure of nothing, on the other, the realization of the work as a metaphor of the fabrication of power. The exhibition is on show until february 16th, 2013.
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images courtesy of Galleria Continua