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China's Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei to Exhibit at the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art
File photo of a visitor looking at an installation, entitled National Stadium - Main Stadium for the Olympic Games 2008, by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. EPA/ENNIO LEANZA.

MOSCOW.- The Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art announced the participation of Ai Weiwei, the prominent Chinese dissident artist, who will exhibit his video, ``Beijing: The Second Ring,’’ (2005). This artwork documents the two opposite views of traffic flow on the 33 bridges along Beijing’s Second Ring Road. The artist films each side (direction) of each bridge for 1 minute, which means 2 minutes for each bridge. The entire work is made of 66 segments (1 hour and 6 minutes).

Whereas the artist’s ``Beijing: The Third Ring’’ was shot on sunny days, the segments for this film were made on cloudy days. The act of recording is minimal, focusing on observation and the nature of time. The film documents Beijing’s historic aspects, its modern development and 13 million people, the mass transport, and urban reality. Ring roads are important urban transport elements in Beijing.

Ai Weiwei is one of the most diverse artists of our days. His fields of interest include architecture, design, art, curatorial work, writing, publishing and much more. Ai Weiwei continuously calls for protection of human rights. When in 2008 thousands of school children died in an earthquake in the Chinese province of Sichuan, the government tried to cover up the circumstances leading to the collapse of the schools (government buildings had for some reason not suffered such a fate). Ai Weiwei’s major work ``Remembering,’’ consisted of 9,000 children backpacks attached to the façade of Haus der Kunst in Munich, and which formed the Chinese sentence a mother uttered upon seeing her dead child’s body: “She happily lived on this planet for seven years.”

The Moscow Biennale is Russia’s most prestigious contemporary art event. It is supported by the Culture Ministry of the Russian Federation, the Moscow city government, the ROSIZO State Museum and Exhibition Center, and the Moscow Biennale Art Foundation.

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