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Posts Tagged ‘Mucem’

Ai Weiwei at MuCEM

This is a highly political show – highly personal too.  Much is about the artist’s relationship with his father whose ship from Shanghai back in 1929 docked right next to where MuCEM is today. Indeed it was France that inspired him to become a poet, a dangerous occupation back in China where he was later forced into internal exile for 20 years; which underlies the political theme of his son’s exhibition, that of the refugee.

Colored House 2015

Ai Weiwei has made items specifically for Marseille, in the first large-scale exhibition of his work in France.  In the first room, visitors see one-tonne cubes of Marseille soap, one inscribed with the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the other with a Chinese Declaration of the Rights of Women.  The centre-piece of the first room however is a recreation of a Chinese house from the Ming Dynasty, strikingly colourful in the cool white geometry of the gallery. But its covering in modern industrial paint is a comment on China’s modern rush to economic progress.

‘A small act is worth a million thoughts,’ Ai Weiwei

This theme carries through into the second room where the centre-piece is an installation of 61 chandeliers mounted on a traditional bottle rack. It evokes the type of lighting in international hotels in Chinese megacities, contrasted to the humble support of the bottle rack.  It’s dazzling.

‘Creativity is part of human nature.  It can only be untaught’, Ai Weiwei

The destruction of these blue and white dragon bowls symbolises the effects of the Cultural Revolution

Elsewhere in the room, there’s an installation of pots from 5000BC slopped with industrial paint (you may have seen these at the RA in London), plus a 2016 series of portraits of the artist made from lego.

‘A refugee could be anybody.  It could be you or me. The refugee is a crisis, a human crisis’, Ai Weiwei.

  • Info-boards in French and English
  • Exhibition opens tomorrow; but from 16:00 hrs today, it’s ‘portes ouvertes’, free entry, with DJs performing  on MuCEM’s wonderful terrace.
  • MuCEM closed on Tuesdays except during August when it is open every day….good!
  • Entry 9,5 euros for over 18s.  Free first Sunday of the month.

‘My conclusion is we are one humanity.  If anyone is being hurt, we are all being hurt. If anyone has joy, that’s our joy’, Ai Weiwei.

THE EXHIBITION RUNS UNTIL 12 NOVEMBER 2018

 

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If you would like a preview of MuCEM’s summer show, ‘Ai Weiwei Fan-Tan’, head off down there on Tuesday 19th June when there is free entry 16-23:00hrs.

Plus…. (more…)

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The first treat is the resumption of the ‘Navette Maritime’ service in Marseille.  (more…)

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…..is my new book which is being launched this week. (more…)

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Tomorrow sees the opening of the new show at MUCEM.  It’s called ‘Lieux Saints Partagés’ and focuses on the sites where Christianity, Islam and 16_rituels_votifs_oea_mucem_idemec_manoel_penicaudJudaism all find commonality for place of worship.  It’s not just Jerusalem – the exhibition takes in other places, even Marseille where, it says, Notre Dame de la Garde is a centre for all religions. (more…)

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News from Marseille

sport logoWe’ve had a great year of culture – maybe next we’re in for a year of sport?  Marseille has won through to the final round to be chosen as the Capitale Européenne du Sport 2017.  The other finalist (more…)

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IMG_5644There has certainly been a development boom locally this year. I’m not sure whether these innovations were a result of the Year of Culture or whether they would have happened anyway; but the focus on Marseille-Provence certainly proved a powerful (if sometimes belated) impetus to transforming parts of Marseille or renovating existing museums.

 They all have one thing in common – this time last year, none of us had experienced them. How quickly they have become familiar!

Here’s my Top Ten Highlights – and, to follow, some lowlights: (more…)

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