The Divine Comedy ||| GSD & Harvard Art Museums
Role: Supporting Lab Director, Suelin Chen
The Laboratory at Harvard
April 8th, 2011
Ai Weiwei's Untitled makes public the findings of a year-long “Citizens’ Investigation” of the May 2008 Sichuan Province earthquake on behalf of the thousands of student victims of the disaster. Installations on view through May 17th.
The Divine Comedy consists of major installations by Olafur Eliasson, Tomás Saraceno, and Ai Weiwei that explore intersections of art, design, and the public domain.
Chinese artist and architect Ai Weiwei’s installation, Untitled (2011), memorializes the thousands of schoolchildren who died in the major earthquake in China’s Sichuan province in May 2008. A site-specific work of 5,335 identical school backpacks represents the exact number of children killed during the earthquake and in the subsequent collapses of poorly constructed school buildings. A related sound piece by the dissident artist, a voice recording reciting the names of the victims, titled Remembrance (2010), will play in the space. The counting of victims and collection of details about their deaths are the products of a “citizens’ investigation” conducted by Weiwei and his studio, leading to growing government censure, beatings, and the demolition of his studio in Shanghai.
In response to this project, metaLAB (at) Harvard (a new project hosted at the Berkman Center) has created @aiww – One-to-Many with Ai Weiwei to engage visitors in the artist’s work and discuss his recent arrest.
Northwest Science Building, outside and B1 Level, 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA Public hours: Monday–Friday, 7am–10pm, through May 17th.