Hansel & Gretel

“[Jacques Herzog and Pierre 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)

Pritzker Prize-winning architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and 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.”

Visit the Installation Website
Learn more about the history of surveillance, drone usage, and view a live stream on the Hansel & Gretel installation website.

Stay Late for Armory After Hours
Join us on Friday evenings, when the installation stays open until 10:00pm, for libations at a special bar in the Board of Officers Room.

Curated by Tom Eccles and Hans Ulrich Obrist

Hansel & Gretel is supported in part by the M K Reichert Sternlicht Foundation, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Ken Kuchin and Tyler Morgan, and by public funds from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

Photo by James Ewing


June 7–August 6, 2017

Tuesday–Thursday: 12:00pm–8:00pm
Friday: 12:00pm–10:00pm
Saturday–Sunday: 12:00pm–7:00pm
The installation is closed on Mondays

The entrance to the installation is at
894 Lexington Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets.

Wade Thompson Drill Hall
Tickets: $15 (plus fees)
Free for Armory Members
and Armory IDNYC Members

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