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Exhibition reflects on Ai Weiwei's use of art as a social engagement tool
Moon Chest, 2008. Madera de Huang Hua Li (Huali) 320 x 160 x 80 cm cada una. © Ai Weiwei Studio, Berlín, 2017.

BUENOS AIRES.- Fundación Proa presents Inoculation, a remarkable exhibition dedicated to public work and social interventions by one of the most famous and influential contemporary artists in the world, Ai Weiwei.

Curated by Marcello Dantas, the exhibition gathers monumental installations, objects, photographs and videos with strong political and symbolic impact, which provide a broad panorama of his most iconic work and displays the prolific and intense career of the artist.

Recognized for documenting and reflecting on the political and social arbitrariness of the Western Word as well as his own country of origin, his artistic practice is developed around freedom of expression, human rights and economic & environmental exploitation.

Inoculation reflects on Ai Weiwei’s use of art as a social engagement tool, activating communities through the production of his work and transforming exclusion into empowerment. The exhibition explores his personal biography and shows the political inconsistencies and gaps between the individual subject and the collective subject in the contemporary world. The artist plays between the ancient and the contemporary; the past, the present and the future; always denouncing from a critical perspective an ambivalent relationship with his country divided by a deep sense of identity which is derived from the use of materials, images and traditional techniques of the Chinese culture in contrast with Western values.

The exhibition occupies the entire architecture of Proa, which includes the sidewalk, the exhibition rooms, staircases, the bookstore and the café; revealing his articulation between architecture and art. In the monumental work Forever Bicycles, made with 1254 bicycles and exhibited in the path of Proa, the artist recontextualizes and dismantles an everyday Chinese object. The bicycles—now turned into a gigantic structure of steel, light and shadow—metaphorize the metamorphosis of China and the permanent changes of its culture.

This new exhibition begins with the South America tour and enables Fundación Proa to offer a unique opportunity for the public to explore the poetic and political issues raised by Ai Weiwei.

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