With the artwork Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way, Ai Weiwei and HORNBACH aim to democratise art by making it accessible for everybody, with the only costs being for the materials. “We immediately loved the idea that anyone can own an original Ai Weiwei by means of their craftsmanship. This is a completely new type of project for our customers and fans,” commented Karsten Kühn, member of the Board of Management of HORNBACH Baumarkt AG.
This work of art belongs to anybody who wants to build it. As Ai Weiwei states: “Everybody can be an artist or has the opportunity or ability to make art.” A central motif in Ai Weiwei’s work is the concept of the readymade – an industrially manufactured object is redefined by the artist as a work of art. The piece consists of high-visibility safety jackets joined together by means of their zips. Removed from their original function, they merge into a shapeless soft sculpture. The assembled readymade Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way transforms realities and triggers unexpected perceptions.
The project is accompanied by a comprehensive publication, which includes not only the building instructions, but also a classification of how Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way fits into the artistic practice of Ai Weiwei. It also includes a certificate of authenticity and an interview the art critic and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist conducted with Ai Weiwei about the project.
Integrated advertisement created by Heimat, Germany for Hornbach, within the categories: House, Garden, Retail Services.