Ai Weiwei ‘Fence’ in full effect underneath the arch

Photos by Tequila Minsky

After much anticipation, mixed with no small measure of feelings of disgruntled opposition, the Ai Weiwei “cage” sculpture underneath the Washington Square Arch was officially opened last week.

It’s part of the Public Art Fund’s citywide “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” project, which features 300 installations around town.

The Village park sculpture, however, is clearly the sprawling initiative’s centerpiece. Although there has been a lot of debate over the “fence” under the arch — it will stay there for four months and displace the annual holiday tree — it really doesn’t seem to be making huge waves: Locals and tourists are snapping photos of it and walking through it, but it’s not exactly pandemonium.

The project is meant as a commentary on America’s current political climate and its lack of openness, reflected in the concept of fences that keep people out. In the cutout in the Washington Square piece, two people walk through the barrier together, their arms around each other in friendship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *