“[Herzog & de Meuron] are always dedicated to enlarging experience where others would flatten it, and heightening the specifics of a place when there are pressures to erase them. They are champions of nuance.” — Architectural Review
“…it is the essence of Ai’s activism:…work that unleashes the political power of art.” — The Guardian (UK)
In a new commission that is both object and environment, Pritzker Prize-winning architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron with artist/activist Ai Weiwei explore the meaning of public space in our surveillance-laden world, referencing the story of Hansel and Gretel in which the children lose their way and feel a sense of menace in a space they know and trust. The artists take advantage of the vast openness of the Drill Hall, creating a 21st century public place in which the environment is disconcerting, the entrance is unexpected, and every movement is tracked and surveyed by drones and communicated to an unknown public.
The work builds on the artists’ shared practice as designers of form and investigation (the Beijing Olympic Stadium and “quite simply the best summer Serpentine Pavilion ever” according to Time Out London) and their deep interest in the public realm whether through activism or architecture. Ai Weiwei has described their collaborations as follows: “My experience of working with Jacques and Pierre is that we never think separately. It’s like three soldiers in the war—and that’s a good feeling: we have a constant understanding.”
Curated by Tom Eccles and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hansel and Gretel is supported by public funds from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Image: DBOX / Google Earth Library
Members can reserve tickets by logging in to their account. Single tickets go on sale to the general public on May 1.
Wade Thompson Drill Hall
Free for Armory Members
Sign up for our email list to get notifications and reminders about purchasing tickets for this and other upcoming events.
Purchase tickets to four or more events to get the best seats and save up to 20%!
2017 Season Sponsors: