Author(s): Nicholas Baume
A comprehensive presentation of Ai Weiwei's recent Public Art Fund exhibition Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, a powerful reflection on the global refugee crisis Internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) transformed over 300 sites across New York City into a compelling, ambitious public art exhibition concerned with the global refugee and migration crises. Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (on view from October 2017 to February 2018) consisted of immersive large-scale sculptures for city monuments, fences on building facades and bus stops, and portraits of refugees and immigrants displayed on outdoor banners. This publication documents the extraordinary project from conception to final installation, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the research, preparatory drawings, planning, and fabrication that brought it to life. The book includes an in-depth interview with Ai Weiwei about the project's personal significance, an essay by curator Nicholas Baume, and statements from a wide variety of individuals--including Olafur Eliasson, David Miliband, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Jorge Ramos, among many others--about their interactions with the artworks. As Baume asserts, "Ai Weiwei created a remarkable model for what great public art strives to be--emotionally engaging and politically resonant, conceptually and formally inventive yet broadly accessible."