Art Miami 2011 Features Work by Ai Weiwei

Art Miami announces that influential and world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei will be among the artists showcased as part of the 2011 Persol Art Video and New Media Loungeentitled “ZOOOM! Decoding Common Practice.”

Curated by Julia Draganovic, the Persol Art Video and New Media Lounge “ZOOOM! Decoding Common Practice” at Art Miami will present six videos by artists, who research the human condition and experiment with the variety of tools that video art provides. It reveals a glimpse beyond the ordinary anddiscovers the precariousness of the stability that those communities try tomaintain. “ZOOOM! Decoding Common Practice” is the fourth video programsponsored by Art Miami. It follows the fair’s well-received 2010 Art Video Lounge, also curated by Julia Draganovic.

Ai Weiwei’s long video, Chang’an Boulevard, describes the main traffic concourse that crosses the Chinese capital, through fixed, one-minute long shots carried out in 50 meters intervals. Minimal and bereft of aesthetic emphasis, the shots capture the image of a metropolis along with all its inherent contradictions, at the dawn of the controversial urban transformation that overwhelmed the city during the 2008 Olympic Games.

“Ai Weiwei’s work is influential beyond the art sphere and we are so pleased to be able to share it with Art Miami visitors this year,” said curator Julia Draganovic. “His work is extraordinarily engaging and consistently incorporates the theme that freedom of expression is a basic right of any human being. It is fantastic that the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio has lent us this truly inspiring video.”

In October 2011 ArtReview magazine named Ai Weiwei number one in their annual Power 100 list. Time magazine also included him in its list of the 200 most influential people in the world. Ai Weiwei’s artistic production is centered on the radical transformations that are taking place in contemporary China. The contradictions of modernity areexamined with great clearness in his works, which are always underpinned by a reflection on the nature of power, the forms that it may take and the repercussions it has on the country’s social and cultural life.

Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing, where he currently lives and works. An activist, architect and curator he is an artist that expresses himself through a vast range of mediums – from video to photography, from readymade to architecture. Protagonist of the Uniliver Series 2011 installation at the Tate Modern in London, Ai Weiwei has also exhibited at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (2009), the SFMOMA in San Francisco, the IVAM in Valencia (2008) and at Documenta in Kassel (2007).

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