DOCUMENTA KASSEL 16/06-23/09 2007

Review Lunch Lecture: Informal Territories - Fairytal

documenta 12 magazines, 21 June, 1 pm, documenta 12 Halle

What happens when parties of Chinese citizens stay in Kassel? Does their presence change the image of the town? Who is exoticising whom? Are the stereotypical expectations of these documenta visitors being exposed? And who in Kassel is viewing whom?
Fairytale is the name given by the Chinese artist and architect Ai Weiwei to his ambivalent installation: Over the period of a month and beyond, 1,001 Chinese citizens will be arriving in groups – just like typical tourists. To accommodate them, Ai Weiwei has designed a minimum of home comforts in a disused factory, fitting it out with textile walls, bast carpets and colourful bed covers.
Although the lucky few selected to participate may feel they are indeed in a fairy tale, this “living artwork” touches upon the current interest among the Chinese population to travel to Europe as well as Western fears of booming China. Under the motto “Informal Territories”, the architects and urban planners Laurent Gutierrez and Valerie Portefaix, from the research and design studio Map Office (Hong Kong) and Jiang Jun, editor-in-chief of the magazine Urban China, will be discussing the project in the context of global migratory movements, temporary architecture and concrete experiences with Ai Weiwei and the participants of Fairytale .

21 June 2007
1 pm



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