After the success of the recent project at Downing College, Cambridge, it was a pleasure to work with Ai Weiwei again, this time in Cuenca, Spain. As part of a series of events taking place across Spain to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, Weiwei’s iconic work ‘S.A.C.R.E.D’ is currently being exhibited in the 12th century cathedral of the Spanish city. The work, which is comprised of 6 cells detailing the Artist’s famous incarceration, presented a complex set of logistical challenges as did the unique exhibition space.
Transporting the work into Cuenca involved a police escort for the 4 articulated and HIAB vehicles, which stopped traffic along the single track road into and out of the town. On arrival, each of the 6 cells had to be removed from their cases and manoeuvred into a side-lying position in order to fit through the access points into the cathedral. In preparation for the unconventional installation, bespoke L-shaped pallet bases were fabricated and, once uncased, the works were rotated and placed on the bases, ready for moving into the space. Once inside a 3-tonne gantry was used to manoeuvre the cells back to the correct orientation in their designated position. This required additional precision and sensitivity due to the temporary flooring in the space.
The 3 day installation, in this stunning location, marks another successful installation for Ai Weiwei. You can view images of the installation above and you can view ‘S.A.C.R.E.D’ at the cathedral in the fortified medieval city of Cuenca, until Nov, 6 2016.