Chinese artist and dissident AI Weiwei has presented in Spain his new installation “S. A. C. R. E. D”, which recreates scenes from his imprisonment in 2011.
In the Cathedral of Cuenca, founded in the year 1196, the artist placed six steel boxes, in which he had decorated his prison cell, put the figures of guards and his own. Watch these dioramas in the exhibition, visitors can through the “eyes” in the walls “cameras”, and also through the glazed Windows in the “ceiling”.
In one of the installations Weiwei lying under the sheets on a couch, and beside him are two guards. On the other Weiwei dinner table in the chamber, again under the supervision of standing guards. In other “chambers” there is still washing itself Weiwei, Weiwei taking a shower etc.
We will remind, in the beginning of April 2011 AI Weiwei, known for his human rights activities and criticism of the policies of the Chinese government, was accused of tax evasion and detained by Chinese authorities. He was charged that he controls the firm Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., the owner which is his wife, but the artist claimed that there only remains a full-time designer. After in support of AI Weiwei expressed cultural figures from different countries, he was released on bail, held in prison for 81 days.
In Spain Weiwei arrived with the exhibitions in the framework of the project “the Poetry of Freedom”, dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the author of the famous novel “the Ingenious Hidalgo don Quixote of La Mancha.
Cervantes called one of the most enigmatic authors. It was captured by pirates, he spent five years in captivity in Algiers, three were in prison in Spain. In the naval battle in 1571, lost his left hand. He was wounded twice in the chest and once in the arm. Before his death, became a monk, joining the Order of tertiaries. The burial place of Cervantes discovered only in 2015.
Cathedral in Cuenca province Castilla La Mancha as the venue was not chosen by chance. It is for the vastness of this province traveled don Quixote and his loyal squire Sancho. The wall of the Cathedral is decorated with a quote from the famous novel by Cervantes: “Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious bounties that heaven showers upon men…”
The exhibition opens July 26 and runs until 6 November.
AI Weiwei works in the genre of constructivism. He was a founder and member of art group called Xing Xing (Star). In 1979, the artists exhibited their works on the sidewalk in front of art Museum in Beijing. The police forced the authors to close the exhibition on the following day. In 1981 AI Weiwei immigrated to the United States, fleeing from persecution by Chinese authorities. In 1982, he enrolled at new York school of design. Until 1993, Weiwei lived in the United States, then returned to China because of the illness of his father. On 3 April 2011 at Beijing airport before boarding the plane on which AI Weiwei was going to fly to Hong Kong, the artist was arrested. In the house, Studio and gallery of artist were searched. Demanding the release of AI Weiwei were made by the representatives of the global art community and the U.S. government. 22 June of the same year the artist was released, “as confessed and health”.
In the ranking for 2011 is “one Hundred most influential people in the art world”, compiled by ArtReview magazine, AI Weiwei took the first place. According to Time magazine, he occupies the 24th place in the list of the most influential people in the world.