Acconci Studio and Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project
8 May – 4 July 2010
Finissage: Saturday, 3 July 2010, 7pm
Para/Site Art Space
G/F, 4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan
Para/Site Art Space presents a collaborative new project by Acconci Studio and Ai Weiwei. This is the first time that both artists create a work together, and for this purpose they have been invited by Para/Site Art Space to use Hong Kong as the background of this exciting experience.
This exhibition engages two artists/architects with parallel trajectories, having both started from an interest in performance, and moved later on to architecture. These “touching points” in both of them will act as common ground to develop a new body of works. This innovative approach to exhibition making can only be practiced at an organization like Para/Site Art Space that operates independently without the constraints of larger organizations. Both artists have never met before, although they mutually admire each other, making this cooperative process a sort of “blind date” for the artists. The project transforms the gallery space into a 3D grid, where both studios develop a work in progress. The installation will be in constant mutation and accumulation during the two months that it is open to the public. New works, models, drawings and various materials are added through the period of the exhibition, and it is the result of the ongoing discussion between Ai Weiwei, Vito Acconci and their studios. The result is a multilayered installation that defies orthodox definitions and approaches.
Vito Acconci started writing in the 60s poetry in New York. In 1967 he founded the influential 0 to 9 magazine. He performed his “Following Pieces” in 1969. Throughout his career, text has been playing a pivotal role in his works. Performances were documented, filmed and registered as part of this process. In the 70s Vito Acconci’s work explored the use of public space in order to search for a wider social context. In 1988 he founded Acconci Studio, an architectural practice that included architects and artists working under this framework. Acconci Studio works towards the development of public commissions constructing a critique of architecture and public space.
Ai Weiwei is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists from his generation. He has engaged in design, architecture, curating, writing and publishing. Ai Weiwei states “I’m my own readymade”, with reference to Marcel Duchamp. He currently operates also with FAKE Design, his own company and works within a team. His political activism has made him a household name.
Public programme: Talk by Hans Ulrich Obrist on art and architecture.
A DVD with the conversation between Vito Acconci and Ai Weiwei is available at Asia Art Archive.
Para/Site Art Space is a contemporary art space located in Hong Kong Island and founded in 1996. We host an ambitious programme of exhibitions, screenings, talks and events that bring into Hong Kong some of the leading practitioners in the international arena, encourage the visibility of artists from Hong Kong, and facilitate East-West dialogue. We have a satellite venue located at Hanart TZ Gallery which showcases a younger generation of artists.
Para/Site Art Space manages also a Curatorial Training Programme, generously funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. This is the only programme of this nature that focuses on East and Southeast Asia. Former lecturers have included Hu Fang, Jens Hoffman, Charles Merewether or Jun Yap.
Para/Site Art Space has organized the official representation of Hong Kong in Venice Biennial in years 2003 and 2009, has also participated in Gwangju Biennial, Guangzhou Triennial, among others. Para/Site Art Space exhibitions and programmes have traveled to Germany, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia.
Para/Site Art Space is run by a Executive Director/Curator, a Manager, a Programme Coordinator and an Education and Development Officer and governed by a board of directors. Para/Site is supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council as well as vital contributions from patrons and Founding Friends of Para/Site.
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