The four month long installation of Ai Weiwei’s Public Art Fund-sponsored “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” comes to an end this rainy Sunday and will be “de-installed” from under the Washington Square Arch over two days beginning Monday. The exhibit was not without controversy; it was installed in October; the community at large felt a lack of input into the project and was brought into the loop late in the game at a Community Board 2 meeting in September. At that time, the project was presented as pretty much a fait accompli (the Community Board could have pushed back); it was revealed that over a year of planning had already gone into the project without public input. It was considered by many not appropriate to be installed directly beneath the Stanford-White designed Arch.
There were people who scaled the side of the exhibit in the early days (as I wondered about when it first appeared) and it was revealed at the Community Board Parks Committee meeting in January (further update on that meeting to come…) that a large teddy bear appeared inexplicably inside at one point just weeks prior. It was promptly removed.
In addition to the Arch, there are 299 other locations across the five boroughs including one outside Central Park and inside Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
As for how the de-installation will take place, a spokesperson from the Public Art Fund told WSP Blog, “The last day of Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is February, Sunday 11th. As there are over 300 artworks in all five boroughs, the exhibition will be de-installed as efficiently as possible. The majority of the de-install (all major works) will occurring between the 12th and 16th. The de-installation is staggered throughout the week, but there will be a couple different teams working on different sites at the same time. Some of the smaller interventions, such as the lamppost banners, will be taken down over the course of two weeks (between the 12th – 23rd).”
“As the exhibition runs through the 11th, Arch at Washington Square Park, will be de-installed on Monday 2/12 and Tuesday 2/13 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.”
Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:
Top photo: Lori Shaner Big Apple Books via Instagram
Middle photo: Yvonne Garrett
Bottom photo: Cathryn