Of Refuge and Dignity

Ai Weiwei, Laundromat, installation, Deitch Projects New York, November 5th – December 23th 2016

When the unofficial refugee camp in Idomeni, Northern Greece, was cleared and thousands of people were forced to leave their makeshift accommodations, many personal belongings were left behind. The artist Ai Weiwei collected the abandoned items of clothing and showed them washed, steamed, and organized in his exhibition “Laundromat” in the New York gallery deitch projects. The carefully cleaned and stored clothes stand for the dignified treatment that has been denied to actual human beings by the European migration policies. The displayed clothes, which can be understood as traces of the disgraceful condition, also constitute visual, first hand, proof of the enormous mass of people seeking refuge. The floor and walls of the gallery were furthermore covered with printed pictures from media outlets that documented and publicized this humanitarian catastrophe. 


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