Ai Weiwei at the Bródno Sculpture Park

Ai Weiwei at the Bródno Sculpture Park

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

The Bródno Sculpture Park, the opening of the first edition in 2009. Photo: Jan Smaga.

July 11, 2014

Ai Weiwei: To Be Found
Sunday 13 July, 4pm

The Bródno Sculpture Park
Bródnowski Park

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Pańska 3
00-124 Warsaw

T +48 22 596 40 10
info [​at​]
press office: prasa [​at​]

To Be Found is a new project of Ai Weiwei for the Bródno Sculpture Park in Warsaw. The Bródno Scuplture Park programme started in 2009 in the suburban, working-class district, as a collaboration of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, artist Paweł Althamer and local authorities. The aim of the programme is to test the formula of a social sculpture in collaboration with local communities and to present world-class artistic production in a non-institutional, democratic context. Not all of the art works are permanent and material, some are based on interaction with the audience during concerts, workshops or even processions and gondola rides. The artists who have participated in the project so far include Paweł Althamer, Olafur Eliasson, Jens Haaning, Susan Philipsz, Katarzyna Przezwańska, Monika Sosnowska, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. 

To Be Found is an art work in which Ai Wei Wei explores the boundaries between the visible and the invisible or inaccessible to touch; between original and serial reproduction; between the act of creation and the act of destruction; between the material and that which exists only as a myth. Ai Weiwei’s sculpture consists of three cylindrical ditches filled with broken crockery, earth and turf. The buried crockery is porcelain replicas of a vase found in a mid-14th century Chinese temple. The replicas were made whilst the artist was working on his series Ghost Gu Coming Down the Mountain (2005) and then broken into hundreds of pieces of various shapes and sizes. Although the project is material and of mass that is both tangible and weighty, it is, nevertheless, invisible and inaccessible to the viewer. It functions as a conceptual myth, a kind of urban legend. The realisation of the project has a performative dimension, bringing to mind burial rituals or attempts to hide away one’s precious possessions in the face of an approaching cataclysm. 

In Warsaw, Ai Weiwei’s invisible, underground sculpture acquires additional resonance. In the city that conceals the ruins of buildings bombed and burned down during World War II along with such poignant traces of the past as the archive of Emanuel Ringelblum (who in 1942 and 1943 buried an archive which in three milk cans related life in the Warsaw Ghetto), earth frequently has a textual dimension; it becomes a palimpsest, to be decoded by future generations of researchers. In Bródno, Ai Weiwei’s project coincides perfectly with the purely archaeological context: it was there, a few kilometers from Bródno Park that the remnants of an 11th-century settlement were discovered, the first part of what was later to be named ‘Warsaw.’

Artists: Paweł Althamer, Youssouf Dara, Olafur Eliasson, Jens Haaning, Nowolipie Group, Susan Philipsz, Katarzyna Przezwańska, Monika Sosnowska, Roman Stańczak, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. 

Curator: Sebastian Cichocki 


Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw presents Ai Weiwei at the Bródno Sculpture Park
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July 11, 2014

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