I recently made a day trip to Alcatraz. There is a scene in my upcoming mystery novel that takes place on “The Rock,” so I wanted to gather insight. This defunct prison is not the cheeriest of venues, but, unlike the former prisoners, I knew I would be leaving again soon.
It so happens that there is also a poignant art show currently exhibited at Alcatraz. The artist is Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident, and the exhibit is entitled “@ Large.”
There are several installations throughout the island designed to “…address the situation of people around the world who have been deprived of their freedom for speaking out about their beliefs….” (Quoted from the brochure.) There is a good NY Times article describing Weiwei’s exhibit, click here to read it.
I liked the exhibit very much. It succeeds in heightening awareness of the radical importance of our civil rights and freedom. Pictured here are two installations.
The Chinese dragon kite exhibit is entitled “With Wind.” The other exhibit called “Trace” consists of 1.2 million Lego pieces displaying portraits of 176 political prisoners and exiles around the world. For more about all the installations, click here.
All artists use their gifts to inspire, and we are fortunate to see Weiwei’s passion, expression, and art in spite of his imprisonment. As for my art, I am happy to report that Golden Gate Graveyard is progressing well. A fun mystery novel set in San Francisco, it presents an intriguing puzzle to the backdrop of famous, infamous, and beautiful sites of the city. Read more about my books here.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander