Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ai Weiwei on 7th Street

[Photo yesterday by EVG reader Russell K.]

As previously reported, artist-activist Ai Weiwei's installations titled "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" are going up around the city.

Yesterday, workers were installing the site-specific fencing at 48 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. (Other local installations include 189 Chrystie St., 248 Bowery, Cooper Union and the Essex Street Market.)

[Photo by Derek Berg]

The press materials note that "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" is "a reflection on the growing hostility toward immigrants and the rise of nationalism throughout the world."

This collaboration with the Public Art Fund is officially on view starting tomorrow through Feb. 11.

[Photo by DB]


JQ LLC said...

Did the city gave WeeWee permission to fence/tag apartment buildings?

I wonder if this will raise market speculation on rentals and lots.

Anonymous said...

There is a lamp post next to my building which shines light into our blocks community garden. This past spring the city put and similar banner this one an advertisement for a local hospital without speaking to the block association or any of the garden members. I called the DOT department of transportation and they agreed to remove it, which they did a week or so later. My point is if one of these banners pops up in front of you window one day soon, you know who to call to have it removed.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:29 - Of course the artist and Public Art Fund have received permission from NYC, public institutions and private owners.

Why not learn something and actually click on the links in the posting by Grieve? I would suggest reading in addition to clicking.

Words4theWise said...

I've read that chain link fencing can interfere with wireless signal transmission. I wonder if strong winds blowing through this fencing will make noise, and/or contribute to structural damage. I also wonder whether the fencing will overall interfere with air distribution to the windows in the air shaft. Seems like a bad idea all around.

JQ LLC said...

8:27 AM

I have been following this since this was implemented without notification of the communities, and have commented on this in prior posts about it on this blog. So I have read it. I'm concern because this thing is borough wide and I wonder where in my borough, Queens, are his stupid fences going to be dropped and wanted to bring up the issue of housing because these real estate jackals use art to gouge future renters.

The question I posted was sarcastic, next time I will note it as /s to avoid future condescension.

Anonymous said...

Where to begin?
1. Taking an old saying such as "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: and turning it into a comment on social injustice, in particular racism, is just absurd. It doesn't really work. But I guess Weiwei didn't stop to really think about it in depth or from any point of view but his own. Typical.
2. Since when is a fence a piece of art? No, that is not a joke and there is no punch line...or is there? When it is not a fence? Not sure I can believe that a fence is anything other than a fence. After all, isn't that how it's manufacturer (you can substitute creator here if you like) intended it to be? It is a question for the ages....the age of stupidity.
3. Why aren't public "art" projects put forth to the public to vote upon before they are forced upon us?
Before I bore you I will stop if the fences weren't boring enough.

Anonymous said...

No chance anyone could climb those fence panels between buildings & try to get into those upper floor apartments, then?

And if someone does that, who's responsible? And how about if someone scales them and falls off & gets hurt? Anyone responsible for that?

Why don't they do this in another city that could use the "art" more than we can? Speaking for myself, I don't appreciate (in any sense of the word) this "art" being foisted upon this area. (Yeah, go ahead & call me cranky! If Ai Weiwei wanted to do something REALLY memorable, he'd put up an anti-boozing "installation".)

Anonymous said...

Concept and reality don't often gel. When I put up a fence between my garden and my neighbor's garden it prevented his dog from shitting on my property, we have returned to being great neighbors, thank you fence!

cmarrtyy said...

Today "art" is content. It fills up space whether in the media or between 2 buildings. This is the product of a society that gives out awards for "participating" and self-promotion. Imagination and skill have nothing to do with art.

Anonymous said...

Agree, the old saying is not apt to the immigration/racism situation. Very ham fisted if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

For the good of humanity, I can't wait until all of the little fences around the world that the divide the nations are taken down and the entire world becomes one giant North Korea.

Anonymous said...

bad art makes angry commenters

sophocles said...

The purpose of these installations are not to please or persuade you but to get you thinking and discussing. If they do that they are successful.

Anonymous said...

Since when is a fence a piece of art? Ever been to MoMa? You cans ee trash there as a piece of art. So I guess a fence is a step from trash.

As for this installation, well this is just a visual interpretation of the proverb from Frost's poem "Mending Wall". To Frost (or the narrator), the wall is contradiction: it both joins and separates people, but mostly the narrator thinks that boundaries are what alienate us from each other, hence he says "something there is that doesn't love that wall". While the neighbor responds and insists that "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors", but Frost notes that the neighbor also seems to be walking in darkness, implying ignorance.

Overall, this fence is divisive -- literally, metaphorically, and interpretively speaking. To most, they'll not know what this is or the history of it, when walking by, it'll just be another fence, they'll probably think another construction is going on on the never ending construction in the EV.

Anonymous said...

I live next door to the 7th Street Ai Wei Wei piece, and like it. I think it's actually a rather subtle enhancement of the gap between the buildings.

And it It's much nicer than the rickety "temporary" stairwell that was put in years ago in the space as a way to give construction workers access to the roof behind one of the buildings, and which took forever to be removed This was an actual security risk, ugly, and also blocked windows.

OK, this is a matter of taste, but that's where I stand with it. To each his/her/their own.