The Berlin Wall, the Gorgan Wall, the Great Wall of China…They always gave us a fake feeling of security, the sensation that no outsider will come to destroy what we created. Now Ai Wei Wei is projecting a new installation in the city of New York that will for sure shake the conscience of the American society.
Good fences make good neighbors is Wei’s personal way of exposing the problems that growing nationalism all over the world and increasing hostility against immigrants are causing in the modern days. According to the New York times Ai will create over 100 installations throughout New York in what will be probably his biggest and most extensive creation to date.
“The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment,” Ai stated. “But what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more.”
“Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors serves as a reminder to all New Yorkers that although barriers may attempt to divide us, we must unite to make a meaningful impact in the larger community,” Mayor Bill de Blasio stated. “This expansive public art project that explores themes of freedom and the power of self-expression is a perfect symbol and reminder for all of us, especially in the current political climate.”
The installation is commissioned by the Public Art Fund, which celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Wei himself was an immigrant in New York for ten years during the 80s. “The issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice,” Weiwei said in a statement.
From October 2017 to February 2018 this fences will be on display in the city.