Ai Weiwei’s “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” Arrives at the Essex Street Market
The artist Ai Weiwei will be making a big impression in New York during the next-week when his enormous citywide art exhibition, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, makes its debut. On the Lower East Side, as in some other neighborhoods, we’re being treated to a preview.
You may have noticed these flagpole mounted banners on the outside of the Essex Street Market. They just went up today. In collaboration with the Public Art Fund, Ai Weiwei is launching 300 artworks across he city. There are three large-scale sculptures — in Central Park, Washington Square Park and in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. The project is meant to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis.
Here’s more about the Essex Street Market portion of the exhibition:
At the New York City Economic Development Corporation-managed Essex Street Market, which opened in the 1940s and has long been at the heart of the community, a narrative scene of banners spanning the market’s façade’s flagpoles will depict the perilous journeys of refugees, driven by threats to their survival and also by hope. These site-specific works will draw attention upward to the architecture of these lower lying buildings on the vibrant Lower East Side, a neighborhood that has been home to many immigrant groups since the 19th century.
Other Lower East Side locations include: 189 Chrystie St. (“a sign factory in the 1920s that is now home to” The Box nightclub), 248 Bowery (“a historic building dating back to pre-1830), Cooper Union and 48 7th St. (the street where Ai lived in the 1980s).
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