Alcatraz Gets Art from Ai Weiwei

Following an acting stint in Jason Wishnow’s art-film-gone-awry, Ai Weiwei returns to his natural habitat behind the scenes.

Weiwei–known for his politically vocal art as much as his 2011 detainment by the Chinese government–is turning the hallowed halls of Alcatraz Island into @Large, Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. The gallery includes seven site-specific installations commentating the state of the institution, as well as a broader look at freedom of expression and political protest.

The mixed media display is funded by Kickstarter and commissioned by National Park Service, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the FOR-SITE Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization celebrating the art of physical space.

Visitors can enter the psychiatric ward, territory previously closed to the public, as well as the infamous dining hall–site of the most famous escape from the prison 52 years ago.

The prison opens its doors to the art world on September 27. If Weiwei’s past work is any indication, Alcatraz will make headlines again like it’s 1962.

Photo by Lennart Preiss/AP

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