The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens has announced a major exhibition with Ai Weiwei. The Chinese dissident artist and activist has become world-famous for his political and cultural criticism.
Sandra Marinopoulos, President of the Museum of Cycladic Art states, “In the context of our contemporary art program we have long been keen on presenting Ai Weiwei’s work. I am thrilled that we are able to host Ai Weiwei’s first ever exhibition in an archaeological museum and introduce him to our Greek audience!”
The exhibition titled “Ai Weiwei at Cycladic” will explore current social and political affairs. “As an artist, I have to relate to humanity’s struggles. I never separate these situations from my art,” Ai Weiwei declares.
Ten percent of the exhibition’s total proceeds will benefit a carefully selected number of NGOs involved in the management of the refugee crisis across Europe.
It was during a trip to the Cycladic Museum in December that Ai Weiwei first visited the island of Lesvos. The Chinese artist and activist was so shocked by the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Lesvos that he eventually decided to establish his studio there, in an effort to draw international attention to the plight of refugees.
In February, the artist used 14,000 used life vests to cover the columns of Berlin’s famous Konzerthaus venue, as a memorial to the people who lost their lives under the waves. The bright orange vests were brought to Germany from Lesvos, where they had been abandoned on beaches after being used by refugees crossing from Turkey to reach Europe. As the artist points out, “The border is really in our minds and in our hearts.”
The show is scheduled to go on display at the Athens Museum from May 20 to October 30.