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Ai Weiwei Will Have a Solo Show of New Works at the Venice Biennale

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In addition to being one of four non-German artists selected by Susanne Gaensheimer to show in the German pavilion’s exhibition (much to Hamburger Bahnhof director Udo Kittelmann’s dismay) at this year’s Venice Biennale — which, due to a pavilion switcheroo, will be housed in the French pavilion — Ai Weiwei will also have a solo show of all new work as one of the Biennale’s official Collateral Events. The solo show, presented by Venetian non-profit art space Zuecca Projects in association with Ai’s gallery, Lisson, will take place at two locations, is being curated by Maurizio Bortolotti, and will run from May 29 to September 15.

Part of the exhibition will take place at the Zitelle complex, which is Zuecca Projects’s headquarters, along with a site-specific installation Ai is creating for the Sant’Antonin church. The exhibition at Zuecca will feature the latest iteration of “Straight” (2008-2012), Ai’s massive sculptural installation of steel rebar rods from schools that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, killing thousands of children.

The church installation, meanwhile, will focus on the history of trade between Venice and China. One or the other, if the above image is any indication, will also include a life-size hyper-realist self-portrait sculpture.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo credit: Ai Weiwei. Courtesy the artist, Lisson Gallery.)

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