Rare showing of works of Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei and others at Friday Harbor museum.
Make travel plans to Friday Harbor this month as the year-old San Juan Islands Museum of Art stages three exhibitions linked by the common thread of human rights: “Ai Weiwei: Fault Line”; Portland-based artist Dana Lynn Louis’ site-specific installation “As Above, So Below”; and “Sleep of Reason: Selected Prints by Francisco Goya.”
Installation artist Ai Weiwei, one of the world’s most closely followed dissident political voices, will present three pieces, including sculpture, video and mixed-media work from his ongoing investigation into the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 quake that killed more than 60,000 people, including 5,196 schoolchildren, in Sichuan province, China. This is one of the first museum exhibitions of Ai Weiwei’s work in the Pacific Northwest; Jan. 23-April 11.
The Goya exhibition presents 16 prints produced in response to the atrocities of the Peninsular War and the breakdown of Spanish society. They are culled from two of Goya’s famous suites of prints: “Los Desastres de la Guerra” (1810–20) and “Los Caprichos” (1797–98). The prints of “Los Desastres” were so politically charged they couldn’t be published in his lifetime, and were only released several decades after his death. Exhibit dates: Jan. 23-April 4.
Louis’ installation, which began Jan. 2 and continues through Jan. 15, also references social and political concerns. For more than a decade, she worked in West Africa helping to create the Ko-falen Cultural Center in Bamako, Mali. That work had to end in 2012 due to the Mali Civil War. Since then, her work, including her new installation, has been deeply informed by the loss of place. “As Above, So Below” includes four components: a floor-to-ceiling drawing on the glass of the museum’s Atrium Space; suspended glass and mixed-media sculptures; etched mirrors installed on the floor; and video projections. Once installed, the work will be displayed Jan. 23-April 2.
San Juan Islands Museum of Art, , 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Monday. Adults $10, free for members and children under 18, and free 3-7 p.m. on Fridays. 540 Spring St., Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. 360-370-5050 or sjima.org.