Last weekend I had the pleasure of experiencing Ai Weiwei’s exhibit, According to What? at the AGO. Not only is the AGO a gorgeous building, with an impressive collection of Canadian and international artwork, but the exhibit provided a lot to think about.
Downsides: The exhibit itself was smaller than I was expecting and the ‘loose-fit’ gift shop (i.e. decorative coy fish and panda stuffed animals) was stereotypical and off-putting. At times I felt like I was in an Ai Weiwei propaganda exhibit (timeline and all).
Still, I found the pieces were inspiring not only in terms of their construction, but their social connotations and motivations.
If you weren’t lucky enough to take in the exhibit, here are some highlights (but 2-d really doesn’t do it justice)!
When I first approached this piece I thought (assumed) it was wood. Upon closer inspection the textured metal rods revealed themselves.
This piece created a strange ‘mirror’ effect when you looked through it. While it seems simple (hollow rectangular prisms with holes cut out of them) it was actually quite disorienting!
This sphere was made without any nails. INSANE!
These houses were made entirely of tea leaves. My kinda place.
“We have to give our opinion, we have to say something, or we are part of it. As an artist I am forced to say something.”
– Ai Weiwei