Ai Weiwei to Install Several ‘Fences’ Around the LES this Fall as Part of Citywide Project

Posted on: August 25th, 2017 at 5:12 am by

Provacative Chinese dissident-artist Ai Weiwei will impart his “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” public art project on October 12. The new exhibition calls for more than three hundred fence installations across the Five Boroughs.

To ensure the deadline is met, and that the event remains publicly funded, the Public Art Fund curator took to Kickstarter yesterday to crowdsource additional coin. The goal is to collect $80,000 by September 20. They’re well on the way; as of this morning, the total sum raised is already past $27,000.

The Lower East Side is well-represented in Weiwei’s vision. Fences will appear in and around 48 East 7th Street (Van Leeuwen), 189 Chrystie Street (The Box), 248 Bowery, the Cooper Union, and the Essex Street Market.

The four-month artistic endeavor is essentially a celebration and commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the Public Art Fund. It carries similar bombastic hallmarks as previous Fund hits like the The New York City Waterfalls (2008).

With “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” Weiwei aims to “draw attention to the role of the fence as both a physical manifestation and metaphorical expression of division.”

“I was an immigrant in New York in the 1980s for ten years and the issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice,” the artist noted in the announcement last March. “The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment. But what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more.”

Recent Stories

Displaced Chinatown Business Returns Months After Devastating Fire

Four months after a deadly fire knocked out 78 Mulberry Street, one of its businesses returned to the scene. Ewa Trading Company reopened in its former Chinatown home earlier this week. The store had spent some of the interim displacement period selling from a shuttered Vietnamese restaurant a few paces north. The two-alarm fire broke […]

EDC Sues Essex Restaurant for Back Rent over Former Essex Market Lease

Three years removed from its relocation across Rivington Street, the city filed suit against the Essex restaurant for alleged unpaid rent. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sued Essex for nearly $60,000 in unpaid back rent on the former Essex Market building it previously occupied, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. The city entity claims that […]

Exile on Orchard Street: Tenement Museum Recreates Exhibits During Renovations

The Tenement Museum is amidst a preservation project at 97 Orchard Street, but will continue its programming with replicas not too far away. The 1863-era tenement this past Sunday embarked on “vital” restoration work to preserve its walls, floors, roof, as well as the installation of a new HVAC system that will provide improved climate […]

Former Home of Stanton Social on the LES Hits Market for $5.9M

Stanton Social has been in the grave for nearly four years. Now, its former home is back on the market. The two-story building – located at 99 Stanton Street in Hell Square – carries an asking price of $5.9 million. B6 Real Estate Advisors is listed as the exclusive brokerage for the property, which has […]

DOT to Pave Pock-Marked Pell Street; Sheds Removed

Pell Street is finally on deck for a resurfacing, forcing numerous Chinatown businesses to dismantle their street shed annexes. Those who operate outdoor dining sheds along Pell Street received notice this week from the Department of Transportation to dismantle structure ahead of scheduled street repaving. This small neighborhood street – which once terminated at Division – […]