Hansel and Gretel
June 7 – August 6, 2017
Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Friday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Curated by Tom Eccles and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Commissioned by Park Avenue Armory
Visual artist and activist Ai Weiwei and Pritzker Prize-winning architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron collaborate on a new site-specific commission that leverages both the vast scale of the Armory’s drill hall and its history as a public meeting space. Exploring the meaning of public space in our surveillance-laden world, the installation references the story of Hansel and Gretel in which the children lose their way and feel a sense of menace in a space they know and trust. The artists take advantage of the architecture of the drill hall—its vast openness and its 80-foot height—to create a disconcerting environment, where the entrance is unexpected, and every movement is tracked and surveyed by drones and communicated to an unknown public.
The project builds on a legacy of over 15 years of collaboration between Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron, who have worked together on such design projects as the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and the National Stadium in Beijing, created for the 2008 Summer Olympics and coined the “Bird’s Nest” for its exterior façade of interwoven steel. Accompanying the installation will be talks and programs by artists, philosophers, and activists in the field.