Acconci Studio + Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project
Ai Weiwei, Ai Weiwei, Vito Acconci
May 08 – Jul 04, 2010
Curated by Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya
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. The installation includes among other elements a 12 channel sound installation designed by Acconci Studio, 128 photographs selected/shot by Ai Weiwei, architectural models and texts. Ai Weiwei has said the following about this project: “The collaboration with Vito Acconci at Parasite Art Space is an effort in figuring out ways to collaborate, ways (of) defining the actual process of working together. Through the development of a gallery project we are to think the formation of a city”. As part of the project a series of conversations will take place during the exhibition period. The public is invited to participate in these conversations. 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. • "AI WEIWEI AND ACCONCI STUDIO: CONVERSATION IN PROGRESS". Real-time conversation that took place through Skype and accessible only from Para Site Art Space. A DVD with the conversation between Vito Acconci and Ai Weiwei is available at Asia Art Archive.