@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

Exhibition on View September 27, 2014 – April 26, 2015

Tickets on Sale Now*

Ai Weiwei
"The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned. This is not the case. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill." - Ai Weiwei

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is internationally renowned both as a maker of potent and provocative art and as a passionate advocate for human rights and freedom of expression. His art and ideas find a compelling new context in this exhibition of works created specifically for Alcatraz – a 19th-century military fortress, a notorious federal penitentiary, a site of Native American heritage and protest, and now one of America's most visited national parks.

Ai's sculpture, sound, and mixed-media works will occupy four locations in the former prison: the New Industries Building, A Block, the Hospital, and the Dining Hall. With the exception of the Dining Hall, these spaces are usually off limits to the public, but all will be open throughout the run of this unprecedented exhibition. Revealing unexpected perspectives on Alcatraz and its layered legacy, @Large prompts visitors to consider the implications of incarceration and the possibilities of art as an act of conscience.

For Ai, these are not just artistic themes; they are facts of life. A vocal critic of the Chinese government, Ai was secretly detained by Chinese authorities for 81 days in 2011 on charges of tax evasion, and is still not permitted to leave China. As a result, Ai is currently unable to visit Alcatraz. He is developing the artwork for the exhibition from his studio in Beijing, with the help of the FOR-SITE Foundation and a team of collaborators from organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz is presented by the FOR-SITE Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Lead support for the exhibition is provided by Roger Evans and Aey Phanachet and by the Fisher family.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz will be on view on Alcatraz Island from September 27, 2014 through April 26, 2015.


Tickets for @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz go on sale June 27, 2014. Individuals may purchase tickets up to three months in advance of their visit. Given Alcatraz’s popularity it is suggested you purchase tickets several weeks in advance. This exhibition is included at no additional cost as part of the Alcatraz Island tour ticket price.

Groups of 15 or more should contact Alcatraz Cruises Group Services Department at (415) 438-8361 or via email at groups@alcatrazcruises.com.


In anticipation of high demand for @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz tickets, a limited number of seats on the Early Bird boat (departing Pier 33 at 8:45 a.m.) will be set aside each day to accommodate exhibition visitors. To reserve tickets or to check availability, please go to www.awwtickets.eventbrite.com.

(NOTE: these reserved tickets are not available through Alcatraz Cruises.) Early Bird exhibition tickets are $50 for adults and juniors, $38.25 for children (5-11) and $48.25 for seniors (62+). These tickets include a special greeting and an exhibition-related commemorative gift, as well as regular Alcatraz admission and the Cellhouse audio tour.

* Please Note: Tickets are on sale on a rolling 90 day calendar. That means that if you want tickets on October 1, 2014, as an example, they will not available for sale on our website until July 1, 2014. If you are wanting to purchase tickets for a date in the future you must visit our website 90 days prior to your desired tour date, as those tickets will not be available for sale until then.

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