Ai Weiwei continues to address the refugee crisis through his latest multi-site, multi-media exhibition in New York City. In a campaign against Donald Trump’s border-control measures, the famous Chinese artist and human-rights activist has enclosed spaces throughout New York with gigantic security fences. The project, titled Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, includes a huge golden cage placed in Central Park, and a fence-like enclosure embedded within the Washington Square Arch.
In 2016, Weiwei traveled to 23 countries and visited over 40 refugee camps while filming his documentary Human Flow. He chose a proverb from Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall as the title for this new piece, which continues to explore the theme of borders.
The artist worked with New York charity the Public Art Fund to create temporary structures in three locations in New York City. Funded through Kickstarter, the project aims to provoke and further the discussion about Trump’s plans to tighten immigration controls.
The large circular gold structure, titled Gilded Cage, was installed on the Doris C Freedman Plaza, just a few minutes away from Trump Tower. The second installation is embedded in the Washington Square Arch as a mirrored passageway in the shape of two joined human figures. In Queens, Weiwei wrapped the Unisphere in Corona Park in mesh netting to create a low-lying fence.
The exhibition will run until 11 February 2018, and it also includes several smaller interventions scattered throughout the city.