Friday, April 14, 2017

Ai Wei Wei: Art Is Activism

Life in the 7-8 empire recommenced at a breakneck pace upon our return from spring vacation. We launched our lengthy social justice unit with a documentary about the Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei. Ai's work--and life!--renders the line between art and activism very hazy indeed. After watching the filmNever Sorry, we discussed the ways in which Ai's actions advocated for the people of China even as he put himself in danger over and over again. On Thursday, we travelled to Grand Rapids for a guided tour of Ai's exhibit Natural State at Meijer Gardens--his first installation in the American Midwest.

We continued rehearsing Twelfth Night and began putting costumes together. We have chosen a holiday theme for the production's look. One character will be in a sloppy Santa suit, another will dress as an elf; there will be plenty of red and green; and we will make use of tinsel, Christmas lights, candy canes, and other detritus of the commercial season. Twelfth Night will be performed at the end of the month, on April 27 and 28, in the 7-8 space.

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