NEW AI WEIWEI EXHIBITION OPENS AT ALCATRAZ

Sep 25, 2014

By Scott Walker

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Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has turned San Francisco’s infamous former island prison into a tribute to political prisoners.

ai weiwei trace

@Large: Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz opens Saturday at Alcatraz prison.

The focal point of the installation is a set of 176 portraits of political prisoners made out of lego blocks.

Ninety volunteers assembled the portraits using 1.2-million lego pieces from patterns and instructions provided by Ai.

The artist remains under house arrest in China on what he says are trumped-up tax charges.

The portraits include Nelson Mandela, American whistle-blower Edward Snowden, and many other unknown prisoners of conscience.

Alcatraz closed as a prison in 1963. It is now a cultural, historical, and wildlife site.

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