Fairytale People, 2007

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Fairytale People, 2007

500 photographs, 5 x 50m banners (x2)
Galerie Urs Meile Beijing - Lucerne | Luzern, neugerriemschneider | Berlin
Courtesy: Leister Stiftung, Erlenmeyer Stiftung, Meile Kunst AG

Ai Weiwei has created a unique version of his famous piece titled Fairytale (1001 Chinese Visitors) (2007). In the original version of the project, conceived for Documenta 12, the artist arranged the travel of 1001 Chinese citizens to the city of Kassel, Germany. An integral part of the work was to provide them with passports and visas, which proved particularly complex in the political context of contemporary China. The whole experience was documented by the artist and later released in a documentary of the same name. This installation is another iteration of the project and consists of a monumental arrangement of a selection of 500 from 1001 square photographs of the participants. Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing, where he lives and works. A provocative artist, curator, writer, publisher, and architect, he is highly critical yet irreverent. His practice is mainly conceptual and draws from sources as disparate as ancient tradition, pop, and architecture to question power structures and social conventions. His recent imprisonment in China has been a source of international controversy.

Old City Wall

The construction of the exterior city wall after the major earthquake of 1356 included the St Alban Tal, the former cloister and the mills quarter in the city. Between 1361 and 1398 a crenellated wall was also built on the river bank to protect the city. This section of 170 meters is a remains of the medieval fortification that the patrolmen watched over until the 19th century.