After living in San Francisco for almost two years now, I never had the opportunity to visit the Rock. Alcatraz is probably the world's most famous prison. And Ai Weiwei is one of the best known artist from China. Ai Weiwei has transformed the island prison of Alcatraz into a tribute to the world's political prisoners.
The show is divided into seven installations, allowing visitors to see parts of the former prison they would not usually have access to.
Here I selected some of my favorite ones...
Both delicate and fearsome, the traditional Chinese Dragon kite embodies a mythical symbol of power, for Ai "represents not imperial authority, but personal freedom. Everybody has this power," according to the show's notes.
By placing the kites inside a building once used as prison labor, the artist suggests contradictions between freedom and restriction, he also offers a poetic response to the nature os Alcatraz as a former penitentiary that is now an important habitat and site of thriving gardens.
Presents pictures of 176 figures jailed or exiled for their beliefs, including Snowden and Manning, but also nearly 40 Chinese cases, 26 from among 33 countries represented. The portraits are made out of Lego blocks.
Visitors are invited to write postcards of messages to those featured in the "Trace" exhibit.
United States Penitentiary Alcatraz Island
For the lucky ones living or visiting San Francisco from now until the 26th of April 2015, don't miss it, here is all the info of the exhibition Ai Weiwei in Alcatraz.
*Notes are taken from the exhibition.
Photos by Sara Ibanez