Dust to Dust

Ai Weiwei

Information about Dust to Dust

Title
Dust to Dust
Artist
Ai Weiwei
Date
2009

About the artwork

Ai Weiwei 
Dust to Dust, 2009 
Crushed pottery in a glass vessel (Crushed by the artist and placed in the glass vessels) 
26 cm, ø 20 cm 
Edition of 35 + 5 AP

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Each of Ai Weiwei's editions is unique. While one can buy the glass at any store; the contents of each, is a mixture that is both individual and provocative: It is made out of pottery from the Neolithic period (5,000-3,000 BC), which has been ground to dust. Ai Weiwei, whose studio operates under the name "Fake", hereby confronts our Western "Ikea culture" with thousands of years of Chinese culture, characterized by the iconoclastic interaction with its own history. This same issue is addressed repeatedly in Ai Weiwei's art. "History is always the missing part of the puzzle in everything we do. I think that they only have a momentary truth and that's the fragment: Those momentary pieces". Ai Weiwei has gathered these historical fragments in his edition Dust to Dust and created a time capsule similar to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules and Marcel Duchamp's glass ampoule Air de Paris.

Much of Ai Weiwei's conceptual art can probably be traced back to his fascination with Duchamp, whom he discovered in the 1980s during his 12-year stay in New York. The everyday object, or the "readymade" as Duchamp called it, is an important aspect to Ai Weiwei's art. This is also reflected in the edition Dust to Dust, which Ai Weiwei created for his exhibition "So Sorry" (12.10.09 – 17.01.10) and made available to Haus der Kunst.