Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has a new series of public art sculpture installations up in Manhattan and across the five boroughs, which is called Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Inspired by the international migration crisis and current geopolitical landscape, the ambitious project is installed in over 300 locations, including two monumental sculptures situated within in highly-trafficked Manhattan parks, along with security fences on top of, and in between, buildings (such as The Cooper Union), and several bus shelters. In addition, there are also graphic and photographic works on flags, billboards and lamppost banners. I saw a lot of these banners along Chrystie Street, which is where I also got my first glimpse of one of the fences.
Ai’s metal fence is designed as a modular form, readily adaptable to the existing architecture, to span and partition the space.
You can still see the fences at night, because they are illuminated.
Don’t forget to look up!
While it’s fun to spot the fences, it’s the interactive sculptures in the parks that really bring the Instagram Moments. Gilded Cage located at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park (at 5th Avenue and 60th Street) can be entered on one side.
This is the money shot, am I right?
This turnstile is trapped between two layers of the cage and cannot be accessed from inside or outside. Think on that for a bit.
I haven’t see Gilded Cage at night, but it has to also be illuminated, and you can probably get an entirely different vibe from it (not to mention great photos) after dark.
On the evening of the same day I saw Gilded Cage, Geoffrey and I were down in Tribeca at an art opening and we walked back uptown through Washington Square Park so I could get a glimpse of Arch, which, appropriately, is installed under the one of the most famous landmarks in the city.
Let’s take a closer look!
Arch is also a cage-like structure with a cut-out passageway in the center, which is formed in the shadowy shape of two men holding each other. The passageway was influenced by one of Marcel Duchamp’s early artworks.
This is the view facing the Arch from inside the park, looking towards the park’s northern boarder on University Place.
And now we walk through!
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is a fun thing to see all over the city, and if you have friends or relatives visiting from outside NYC it is a cool, non-touristy thing to expose them to the art of Ai Weiwe! Enjoy!
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is on Exhibit Citywide Through February 11, 2018. Consult the Google for Locations Near You!