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Ai Weiwei: According To What? Programs

Ai Weiwei, "Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn," 1995/2009; "Colored Vases," 2007-2010
From top to bottom: Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995/2009; Colored Vases, 2007-2010. Installation view of Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., 2012. Photo: Cathy Carver.

The Hirshhorn will offer a range of educational programs in conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What? on view at the museum October 7th through February 24th, 2013. All programs are free of charge.

Past Programs

Ai Weiwei Film Marathon
Sunday , February 17, 11 am–5:30 pm
Ring Auditorium 

Marathon screening of films by and about Ai Weiwei. 

11 am - Ai Weiwei’s So Sorry, (2011)
55 minutes

12:15 pm - Alan Yentob’s Without Fear or Favour, (2010)
51 minutes

1:30 pm - Ai Weiwei’s Fairytale, (2007)
2 hours and 32 minutes

4:15 pm - Ai Weiwei’s Disturbing the Peace, (2009)
78 minutes

Exhibition Tour with Mika Yoshitake and Carol Huh
Thursday, February 7, 7 pm
Second Level Galleries

Hirshhorn Assistant Curator Mika Yoshitake, Freer/Sackler Assistant Curator of Contemporary Asian Art Carol Huh and guest speakers examine Ai’s work from multiple perspectives.

Meet the Artist: Vito Acconci
My Own Ai Weiwei
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Ring Auditorium

Recently named Design Miami’s Designer of the Year, Vito Acconci will give a talk titled My Own Ai Weiwei, addressing his 2008–2010 collaboration with Ai Weiwei at Para/Site Art Space in Hong Kong. Born in 1940 in New York, where he lives and works, Acconci began writing poetry in the 1960s. His daring explorations of the use of public space earned him recognition as one of the pioneers of installation, performance, and video art. In 1988 he founded an architectural practice, Acconci Studio, which works toward constructing a critique of the built environment.

Friday Gallery Talk: Larissa Raddell discusses the installation process of Ai Weiwei: According to What?
Friday, January 11, 2013
Meet at the Information Desk

Hirshhorn exhibition coordinator Larissa Raddell discusses the installation process of Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Friday Gallery Talk: Michelle C. Wang, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, on ceramic pieces in Ai Weiwei: According to What?
Friday, December 14, 2012
Meet at the Information Desk 

Georgetown University assistant professor Michaelle C. Wang on ceramic pieces in Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Film Screening: Ai Weiwei’s Fairytale (2007)
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Ring Auditorium

This film documents an artwork produced for Documenta 12 in which Ai invited 1,001 Chinese citizens of various ages and backgrounds to come to Kassel, Germany, during the exhibition and examine their dreams for the future, as well as the artist’s own. The film has English subtitles and runs 152 minutes.

Film Screenings: Ai Weiwei’s So Sorry (2011) and Alan Yentob’s Without Fear or Favour (2010) 
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Ring Auditorium

Ai’s film documents the undertaking and aftermath of the artist’s journey to witness the identification of the bodies of students killed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Thousands of children died in their schools as a result of corruption that enabled poor construction and lax inspections. During a confrontation with police in a hotel in Chengdu, Sichuan province, the artist was beaten about the head. Shortly thereafter, while flying to Munich to prepare the exhibition from which the film takes its title, he suffered a brain hemorrhage. Upon landing, he was rushed into emergency surgery that saved his life. The film has English subtitles. Yentob’s film, which was produced for the BBC, reviews Ai’s career leading up to his installation of 100 million hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Total running time is 120 minutes.

Meet the Artist: Alison Klayman & Film Screening: Never Sorry (2010)
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Ring Auditorium

Fresh from college, Klayman ventured to China, where she bounced between jobs and, as an incidental side-gig, shot a brief video to accompany an exhibition of photographs by Ai. The project grew into a feature-length portrait that delves into the artist’s influences (Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp, among others), his devotion to his mother and father (Ai Qing, a poet suppressed first by anti-Communists and then under Mao), his process (perpetual performance, public engagement through social media, the conceptual transformation of traditional aesthetics) and the hazards of surviving as a dissident artist. She’ll share the details, introduce the film and answer questions.

Friday Gallery Talk
Friday, October 26, 2012
Meet at the Information Desk

Hirshhorn Assistant Curator Mika Yoshitake on Ai’s Kippe (2006).

Friday Gallery Talk
Friday, October 19, 2012
Meet at the Information Desk

Hirshhorn Deputy Director and Chief Curator Kerry Brougher on Ai’s Cube Light (2008), a recent acquisition by the museum.

Exhibition Tour with Mami Kataoka
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Second and Third Level Galleries

Exhibition curator Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, gives a lively interactive tour of the first North American survey of the artist’s work.

Panel Discussion: Art and Social Change
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Ring Auditorium 

This panel discussion concentrates on questions of freedom and creativity and addresses the various conditions that lead great minds to bold actions. Of particular interest is the role of the dissenting artist in confronting established doctrines and social orders in the face of official censorship and repression. More Event Details

Related Podcasts

Hirshhorn interpretive guide Janet Hong discusses Ai Weiwei’s photo installations Provisional Landscapes and Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Stadium
Friday, February 8, 2013 

Exhibition Tour: Ai Weiwei In Context
Thursday, February 7, 2013 

NPR: In ‘According To What?’ Ai Weiwei Makes Mourning Subversive
January 23, 2013 

Meet the Artist: Vito Acconci
Thursday, January 17, 2013 

Friday Gallery Talk: Hirshhorn exhibition coordinator Larissa Raddell discusses the installation process of Ai Weiwei: According to What?
Friday, January 11, 2013 

Friday Gallery Talk: Hirshhorn interpretive guide Janina Anderson discusses Ai Weiwei’s Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn 
Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Gallery Talk: Hirshhorn interpretive guide Remina Greenfield discusses Ai Weiwei’s Straight 
Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Gallery Talk: Michelle C. Wang, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, on ceramic pieces in Ai Weiwei: According to What?
Friday, December 14, 2012

Meet the Artist: Alison Klayman
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday Gallery Talk: Assistant Curator Mika Yoshitake on Ai Weiwei’s “Kippe,” 2006
Friday, October 26, 2012 

Friday Gallery Talk: Chief Curator Kerry Brougher on Ai Weiwei’s “Cube Light,” 2008
Friday, October 19, 2012 

Panel Discussion: Art and Social Change
Sunday, October 7, 2012

Exhibition Tour with Mami Kataoka
Sunday, October 7, 2012

Friday Gallery Talk: Hirshhorn assistant curator Mika Yoshitake on Ai Weiwei’s “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” 2010
Friday, May 4, 2012

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