Athens / Attic Moon Restaurant / Greece – Translocation
May 19, 2016
It fascinates me to observe the public Ai Weiwei, who patiently joins in on selfies and shakes hands with hundreds of strangers at events like the opening of his show at the Cycladic Art Museum. Yet I particularly cherish the moments we get to spend one-on-one or together with just one or two members of his staff, like last time in Lausanne. In these moments we get to know each other, share ideas and talk about the exhibition. And sometimes chance situations, like the encounter with two Chinese travelers in the Attic Moon Restaurant, enrich these meetings and give our conversations new input.
Athens / Cycladic Art Museum / Greece – Transformation
May 19, 2016
I had accepted Ai Weiwei’s invitation to the opening of his show at the Cycladic Art Museum in Athens. Some old works and a fascinating new piece awaited me.
Lausanne / Musée Cantonaux / Switzerland – Transformation
April 28, 2016
These days it is hard to catch Ai Weiwei in his Berlin studio. For the last months – in accordance with the idea of our exhibition – he and his camera teams are travelling to countries affected by the refugee crises like for example Greece, France (Calais), Turkey and Lebanon. Consequently, more and more often our meetings take place outside of Germany. Last time we met at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne. On request of the director Bernard Fibicher, who had already staged an Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern in 2004, the Chinese master will show works in the different departments of the Musées Cantonaux (zoology, archaeology, geology, fine arts). This is likely to happen sometime this year. It was a particular treat to go round the whole museum with Ai Weiwei exploring its highlights and curiosities.
Cesme / Turkey – Translocation
January 30, 2016
“The border is not in Lesbos, it´s really in our minds and in our hearts.” Ai Weiwei says some month ago. Lesbos has been the main point of entry into Europe for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq and other conflict-torn countries. Ai says he has set up a studio on the island which will produce several projects conceived by him and his students related to the refugee crisis to create art that will highlight the plight of these migrants.
The history and fate of these immigrants is closely connected to the idea of our exhibition. It is quite possible that the artist will decide to create a work related to their stories and the phenomenon on the whole for the show at the 21er-Haus.
I am interested in people and their destinies. For several decades I have made portrait photographs of people, mainly from the African and Arabic areas hence also of refugees in Turkey and Greece. Here are some photos (printed in the darkroom) from the coast in the Turkish Çeşme, only six kilometers from the Greek island Chios.
Paris / France – Le Bon Marché – Transformation
January 17, 2016
Just met Ai Weiwei at the preview to celebrate his most recent installation Ai Xi at Paris’s Le Bon Marché. Really impressing, a must-see. Unfortunately there was no time for our very special Polaroid shooting. So I took my old Leica M3, one roll of expired film (Kodak 3200) and took some pictures, that were then developed in the darkroom.
Beijing / China – Translocation
January 1, 2016
It does not happen every day that a mighty temple from the Ming dynasty is being exported from China. Therefore a number of formalities have to be sorted out before this center piece of the exhibition at the 21er-Haus can start its journey.