Hansel & Gretel | Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron
Park Avenue Armory
June 7 – August 6, 2017
Having been surveilled and put under house arrest by the Chinese Government, artist/activist Ai Weiwei is no stranger to Big Brother. Next month, he channels his experience into a new project. For the upcoming immersive installation, Hansel & Gretel, he teams up with Pritzker Prize-winning architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron to give attendees the experience of being watched. Weiwei, Herzog and Meuron explore the meaning of public space in our surveillance-laden world for the new commission which is both object and environment. Referencing the story of Hansel and Gretel in which the children lose their way and feel a sense of menace in a space they know and trust, the trio has created an installation in which visitors must navigate through drones and infrared cameras. The artists take advantage of the vast openness of the Drill Hall, creating a 21st century public place in which the environment is disconcerting, the entrance is unexpected, and every movement is tracked and subject to surveillance.
The work builds on the artists’ shared practice as designers of form and investigation and their deep interest in the public realm whether through activism or architecture. Of working with Herzog and Meuron, Ai Weiwei has said the following:
“My experience of working with Jacques and Pierre is that we never think separately. It’s like three soldiers in the war – and that’s a good feeling: we have a constant understanding.” -Ai Weiwei
Go to the official Armory Arts website to purchase tickets for Hansel & Gretel.