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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in front of his artwork "Template" | documenta 12, 2007 Kassel | by A-C-K
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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in front of his artwork "Template" | documenta 12, 2007 Kassel

photo 2007-06-03_02


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photo 2007-06-03_01


UPDATE: on 2007-06-20 the artwork collapsed:


Info to another Ai Weiwei-artwork at documenta 12:

No less than 1,001 farmers, laid-off workers, street vendors, minority people, students, rock singers, and white collar workers will travel free to the tiny German town of Kassel. The group is about to take part in one of the most important contemporary art events in the world.


Documenta is held every five years and the 1,001 Chinese people are the focal piece of Ai Weiwei's latest creation, aptly called Fairytale.


Kassel was often the venue for fairytales written by the Brothers Grimm, who used to live and work in the town, but the event in mid June is far from fantasy.


Fairytale is one of the largest-scale art works Ai has done. It will cost 3.1 million Euro ($4.1 million), which mostly covers the traveling and accommodation costs of the 1,001 people. Ai's gallery owner Urs Meile raised the money through two Swiss foundations,

the Leister Foundation and the Erlenmeyer Foundation.


"When I was invited by Documenta, I didn't want to do a conventional work like painting or sculpture, but rather do a work which directly relates to the real lives of ordinary people," said Ai. "Then the idea came to bring 1,001 Chinese people to view the exhibition as audience, and create a work of itself. The basic concept behind the work is to create a condition which encourages self experience and extends people's participation of art."


Ai said the number 1,001 doesn't have any special meaning, but is just a number easy to remember. He publicized the news for the recruitment on his personal blog ( ) on February 26, and received some 3,000 applications within three days. ... more on

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Taken on June 3, 2007