ai weiwei: stacked   an installation of 760 bikes
jan 11, 2013
ai weiwei: stacked an installation of 760 bikes


ai weiwei
‘stacked’, dimensions variable, 2012
image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 


galleria continua presents the first solo show by ai weiwei within its san gimignano gallery space. comprised of the chinese contemporary artist’s sculptures,
video and photographic works, the exhibition emphasizes his indifference to his chinese culture and traditions, displaying his ability to
project himself into modernity, within an unflagging social and political awareness.

 

one of the most outstanding pieces displayed is a walk-around installation composed of 760 bicycles, presented on the main stage of the gallery.
a continuation of the controversial creative’s 2008 work ‘very yao’, ‘stacked’ brings to light the principal means of transportation in his native country.
the two-wheelers he has employed in this work are all produced by ‘forever’ (yong jiu pai), china’s most common bicycle brand.
as one experiences the hundreds of systematically arranged bikes, ai weiwei’s exploration of mass manufacturing becomes evident,
the chain and sprocket mechanisms in a way depictions of the matrix of people which makes up the labour force.
the piece can be interpreted as an activation of a process of abstraction, as a whole, seen as a metaphor of the fabrication of china.
the self-titled exhibition is on show until february 16th, 2013.

 

 


hundreds of bikes are systematically stacked to form the work
image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


worm’s-eye view

image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


the artist has employed 760 bikes produced by ‘forever’, china’s most common bicycle brand

image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


the work addresses themes revolving around mass manufacturing and human labour

image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


visitors are invited to walk within the work and experience it from all angles

image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


‘stacked’ is installed on the gallery’s stage elevated above the rest of the exhibition space
image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


ai weiwei
‘very yao’, dimensions variable, 2008
image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


the artist uses the bike as his medium for its symbolism in his native country of china

image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

 

 


image © the artist, courtesy of galleria continua

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