This fall, Ai Weiwei and the Public Art Fund will team up for a massive citywide art exhibition titled Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, which will see the installation of more than 300 pieces throughout the five boroughs. The project is one of Ai’s largest projects to date, with pieces going up in major locations like the Unisphere in Queens, Doris C. Freedman Plaza near Central Park, and more.
But because nothing of this scale can happen in New York City without someone finding something wrong with it, the Washington Square Association—a group founded in 1906 as “the first neighborhood association” in the city—has released a statement protesting the artist’s proposed installation under the Washington Square Park Arch (h/t Washington Square Park Blog).
Their reasons are threefold: the group says it was not given the opportunity to provide input before the Public Art Fund released the Arch as one of the exhibit’s locations; the installation would interfere with the park’s annual Christmas tree lighting, along with other seasonal events; and, per its letter to the Public Art Fund, “The monumental Arch is a work of art in itself. It does not need to be politicized with the proposed installation.”
In the renderings shown for the project, one of Ai’s fences is installed below the Arch, with a cut-out so people can pass through and interact with the piece itself. The installation is scheduled to open on October 12, and run through January. read more