Room For Two?

Vito Acconci and Ai Weiwei at Para-Site Art Space, Hong Kong

Vito Acconci and Ai Weiwei's recent exploits have not only grabbed headlines, they've altered skylines. The former set up his architecture practice, Acconci Studio, in 1988 and has since worked on projects including Seoul’s sinuous Performing Arts Center and the crystalline Mur Island Ampitheatre in Austria; the latter (whose studio is called REAL/FAKE) was Herzog & De Meuron’s creative consultant for the Bird’s Nest Stadium at the Beijing Olympics. Yet both artists started out working in performance: In the late 60s, Acconci embarked on a series of risqué happenings in which audiences would be confronted with the artist in deranged, trance-like states, while in the 80s Ai Weiwei was a prominent member of the downtown New York performance art scene, befriending Allen Ginsberg along the way. Though they have never met each other, their odd parallels has inspired a collaborative exhibition at Hong Kong’s Para-Site art space this month. The space will open entirely empty and day-by-day the artists will alternately add work in creative dialogue with one another. What exactly will be shown is unknown, even to the gallery staff, who only half-hint at nondescript photographs, drawings and artifacts, claiming very little has been preplanned. The enigmatic process begins today and runs through July 2nd.

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