LOS ANGELES — Now that I’ve written so extensively about residencies and their benefits, maybe you’re wondering: which residency to join? As mentioned in my series of articles, the Alliance of Artist Communities is a great resource, with well over a thousand sites here and abroad.
If Beijing has a Chelsea, 798 Art Zone, then surely it has a Williamsburg. That “alternative” neighborhood is Caochangdi (草场地). According to legend, Ai Weiwei moved out here in early 2000 to set up his studio and the China Art Archives and Warehouse. It was a strange move at the time, but galleries and artists soon followed, and the area is now home to a number of well-known spaces.
The Armory Show 2011, though not mind-blowing, certainly had its highlights. But one piece that made me look twice, and then fall into a deep pit of failed artistic expectation, was Ai Weiwei’s “My Surveillance Camera” (2010) at Galerie Urs Meile. It’s a surveillance camera, but made of marble. Get it?