The exhibit, Ai Weiwei: According to What? features works reflecting on his activism and surveillance. One of his newest pieces is a sculpture made from rebar that was salvaged from schools that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The piece points to the inferior construction that caused many schools to collapse, while other Chinese government buildings remained unscathed. Employing more than 40 tons of salvaged rebar, Straight (2008-2012) is a powerful indictment of the Chinese government and a monumental reminder of the many young people who died in the earthquake.
This exhibition is the first major retrospective of Ai Weiwei’s work. He reflected on the According to What? tour by noting, “I’ve experienced dramatic changes in my living and working conditions over the past few years, and this exhibition has been an opportunity to reexamine past work and communicate with audiences from afar. I see it as a stream of activities rather than a fixed entity. It is part of a continual process in self-expression.”
Ai Weiwei: According to What? runs at the IMA from April 5-June 21,2013. Tickets are $12 for the public, $6 for children and free for IMA members.
(image: Ai Weiwei, Colored Vases, 2007-2010. Image courtesy of the artist. )