Marina Kellen French Discussion
Art, Migration, and Human Dignity
Beijing-born artist and social activist Ai Weiwei moved to Berlin in 2015. He will discuss with Gereon Sievernich the impact of his time in the German capital on his work. They will share thoughts on the intertwined relationship between art and activism.
Ai Weiwei is renowned for making bold statements on social and political issues in media from architecture to documentary film. Ai’s recent exhibitions include Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, Fan-Tan at Mucem in Marseille, Inoculation at Fundacion Proa in Buenos Aires, and Good Fences Make Good Neighbors with the Public Art Fund in New York City. He is the recipient of Amnesty International’s 2015 Ambassador of Conscience Award and the 2012 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation. His first feature-length documentary, Human Flow, premiered in competition at the 74th Venice International Film Festival in 2017.
Gereon Sievernich is the curator of Berlin’s Hauptstadtkulturfonds. From 2001 to 2018, he was the director of the Martin-Gropius-Bau, where he curated nearly 200 exhibitions on modern and contemporary artists. Previously, Sievernich was an executive at the Berliner Festspiele, where he conceived and managed exhibitions including “Japan and Europe 1543–1929,” “Patterns of Jewish Life,” and “Europe and the Orient.” The author of several works of cultural history, Sievernich has written for publications including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit, and Der Tagesspiegel. He is Chevalier of France’s Ordre des Arts et Lettres, and a recipient of Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon and Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle.