January 16 – February 28, 2014
Ai Weiwei’s installation, Namelist, and audio recording, Remembrance, are dedicated to the young people who lost their lives in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Together, the works honor the 5,196 innocent victims who died as a result of collapsed schools. The names of all 5,196 students are presented in State of Emergency, along with gender, age, and birthdate. Standing in front of the long rows and column of information, spanning the gallery wall, illuminates the magnitude of the disaster. This is further emphasized by the audio recording, 3 hours and 41 minutes long, in which 3,444 individuals contributed voice recordings of the victim’s names, as requested by Ai through a Twitter campaign. Ai’s art is rooted in social activism. This work is as much a memorial as it is a political statement against government cover-ups regarding sub-standard architecture.
Opening Reception January 23, 2014, 6:00-8:00pm, with a discussion at 5:30pm, Belk Visual Arts Center