Ai Weiwei Spider: Liverpool Biennial 08

As part of the Biennial we have another spider, this time on a web stretched across the square at the rear of the Town Hall. It looks better when illuminated at night. It had been raining most of the day when I went to see it. The sky tends to get washed out in such conditions.

From the Biennial site:

Artist, architect, curator and prolific blogger, Ai Weiwei’s practise defies easy categorisation, except perhaps for a recurring delight in play and provocation. Ai often draws on the materials of the past for his work, transforming them through assembly, remoulding, or sheer destruction, into present day commentary.

The spider is one of nature’s architects, whose ability to weave his silken web provides the means for his survival. For MADE UP, Ai Weiwei takes this symbol of creativity, and enlarges it to gigantic proportions, spinning a web of light across the entirety of Liverpool’s Exchange Flags. At the heart of this intricate steel construction is a crystal studded spider, while LED lights strung along the cables allow us to enjoy a paradoxical night-time image of dew glistening in the sun.

Ai has looked to nature for inspiration on previous architectural projects, most notably as Herzog and de Meuron’s collaborator on Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium. But Ai is not so much interested in plays on the natural, more in taking objects and, through a simple intervention (in this case a shift in scale), transforming the familiar into something new and extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality. and extraordinary, with the result that the idea or image becomes all the more real by virtue of its unreality.
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2 comments:

BBC Liverpool08 said...

Hello, Eric the Fish,

I enjoyed your slideshow of the newest spider to grace Liverpool's water spouts.

We've quoted your blog on the BBC Liverpool08 website - with a link back to your post of course.

It's on this page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool08/

Our thanks for your contributions to our Flickr group too!

HB, BBC Liverpool08

eric the fish said...

Thanks.
Seems to have a fault at the mo.
I'll try to rectify soon.