Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly
(78 min) China/US
[watch trailer]

THURSDAY 10/17, 7:00 PM (SESSION 1)

Directors: Cheryl Haines, Gina Leibrecht
Producers: Cassandra Jabola, Christy McGill


Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly begins with the remarkable exhibition @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. The outspoken artist and activist transformed the former island penitentiary of Alcatraz into an artistic platform. The resulting exhibition engaged nearly 900,000 visitors in a conversation about the plight of prisoners of conscience around the world. Traces, made entirely from LEGO bricks, the work depicts the faces and names of 176 brave individuals who were incarcerated or exiled due to their beliefs, affiliations, and nonviolent expressions of dissent. The work’s companion piece, Yours Truly, invited visitors to compose messages of hope to many of the prisoners seen in Trace. Visitors were galvanized by the possibility that their voices might have an impact. By the time the exhibition ended, over 90,000 postcards had been sent. Then something even more astonishing began to happen. The FOR-SITE Foundation started to hear back from the prisoners and their families. Some of the messages from Alcatraz were getting through, and people had been moved—even sustained—by the public’s outpouring of concern for their welfare and causes.The film Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly follows these postcards around the globe—from Alcatraz Island to Beijing, Washington, DC, and Cairo—as director Cheryl Haines meets with former prisoners of conscience and their families.


Cheryl Haines is the founding executive director of the FOR-SITE Foundation and principal of Haines Gallery. She was the curator of @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. For over thirty years, Haines has developed exhibitions and site-specific public programs that have exposed new audiences to contemporary art and advanced the discourse on art about place. Haines’ dynamic curatorial stance presents challenging and provocative exhibitions by artists who explore cultural and environmental issues through a wide range of media, as well as public, site-specific commissions on a national scale.

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