“With Wind” and “Trace” are two of five exhibits in @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. Each exhibit is an absolute experience – in a prison environment – and together they comprise the ironic whole of this show about liberty and freedom of expression by an artist whose studio was bulldozed and whose passport was taken by his own government in an effort to stifle his freedom of speech. The atmosphere of the Alcatraz compound alone is haunting, reflective. Combined with Ai Weiwei’s visual voice the five-hour experience mesmerized us, left us altered. @Large sponsored by FOR-SITE in conjunction with National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Through April 16,2015.
Next day we immersed ourselves in “Keith Haring: The Political Line,” at de Young Museum. We stood in the main room and heard every note of his paintbrush, felt an understanding not before experienced. The simplicity and the strength. The confusion and the concern. The joy and the anger. But mostly the storytelling and the song. We would go back for more, for sure. And the exhibition book is fabulous. Organized by Fines Arts Museums of San Francisco. Through February 16,2015.
Stayed at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel on Sutter in the Tender Nob district. Highly recommended.