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

Century-Old LaGuardia Bathhouse is Almost Gone [PHOTOS]

It sat vacant for four decades. Now, the long-abandoned LaGuardia Bathhouse is finished. A nub of its former self. Since our last checkup one month ago, the 1909 structure has lost most of its body. Removed brick by brick by men in cherry pickers. The mural on its western exposure – a depiction of Puerto […]

Dormant Red Mango on Allen Street Finally Gets a New Tenant

Red Mango closed its Lower East Side location on Allen Street four years ago. The space remained a dusty dormancy for the duration. Until this month; and henceforth, something completely unexpected. An interior decorator called APex New York that specializes in kitchen and bathroom fixtures. To be honest, this type of commercial occupant is not […]

Burned Out Black Seed Bagels Returns to Elizabeth Street on Thursday

Black Seed Bagels is finally ready to reopen its five-year-old flagship Elizabeth Street shop. The return comes five months after an early-morning fire tore through the establishment. The bagel outpost will resume hours at 170 Elizabeth on Thursday morning at 7am. On March 7, a fire sparked on-premise and knocked out the whole bagel operation. […]

After Years of Vacancy, Ernesto’s Spanish Restaurant Opening on East Broadway

Way down East Broadway, at the corner of Montgomery Street, an upscale corner tenant is entering the fray. This after five years of apparent on-and-off storefront warehousing by a controversial landlord. Eater had the scoop last week, revealing that Quality Eats executive chef, Ryan Bartlow, is opening a new restaurant here at 259 East Broadway. […]

Post-It Solidarity in Chinatown for Hong Kong Protesters

The splintered plywood on the perimeter of 282-286 Grand Street is now a makeshift statement of solidarity with protesters in Hong Kong. Within the last few days, a display of colorful Post-It notes appeared atop the weather-worn flybills, each with a message in Chinese or English. The stunt includes two small baskets stocked with stickies […]