In The Frame
In The Frame
In The Frame

Big brothers: Ai Weiwei and Herzog and de Meuron team up for surveillance installation

by The Art Newspaper  |  11 March 2017
Big brothers: Ai Weiwei and Herzog and de Meuron team up for surveillance installation
A mock-up of Hansel and Gretel by Ai Weiwei and Herzog and de Meuron at the Park Avenue Armory (Photo: James Ewing)
In our technology-laden world, surveillance scandals are no fairytale. Hansel and Gretel, an immersive new commission by the activist artist Ai Weiwei and the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, will allow visitors to navigate a terrain filled with infrared cameras and surveillance drones that record their every movement. The work draws on the Brothers Grimm tale, where the siblings leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back home, by creating an environment where visitors cannot hide their location. The site-specific commission will be installed at the Park Avenue Armory’s Wade Thompson drill hall and in one additional floor of the building (7 June-6 August), which will serve as a “surveillance laboratory” where visitors can assume the role of unknown observer or voyeur and watch footage of the experience. “This project provides a powerful lens for examining surveillance as one of the defining social phenomena of our time,” says the Armory’s executive produce and president Rebecca Robertson, “and provokes pressing questions about the right to privacy in a hyper-monitored world.” Just ask the CIA.

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