DIY store chain Hornbach has launched Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way, an integrated project by world famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The piece consists of high-visibility safety jackets joined together by means of their zips. Removed from their original function, they merge into a shapeless soft sculpture. The assembled readymade Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way comes with instructions and materials from Hornbach. The project is accompanied by a comprehensive publication, which includes not only the building instructions, but also a classification of how Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way fits into the artistic practice of Ai Weiwei. It also includes a certificate of authenticity and an interview the art critic and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist conducted with Ai Weiwei about the project. The campaign is being promoted with a 21 second commercial and a 3 minute documentary.
Click on the images below to play the commercial and documentary.
Ai Weiwei and HORNBACH aim to democratise art by making it accessible for everybody, with the only costs being for the materials.
“We immediately loved the idea that anyone can own an original Ai Weiwei by means of their craftsmanship. This is a completely new type of project for our customers and fans,” commented Karsten Kühn, member of the Board of Management of HORNBACH Baumarkt AG.
Ai Weiwei talks about his involvement in the campaign.
“When HORNBACH invited me to collaborate on this project, I immediately thought it was a fantastic idea. HORNBACH is a company that has a connection with people’s everyday lives. Their products address the practical aspects of life, as well as the decorative and pleasurable. Art belongs to everybody. Everybody can be an artist or has the opportunity or ability to make art. And while art may not necessarily make the world a better place, it has the power to make us better people.”
“I am an artist who cares about reality and what is happening today. I try to relate my works to everyday life, to ordinary things, to the familiar. At the same time, I add some twists to make us question our rationality. I made this work for the public, for the people who are not necessarily art collectors or museum-goers. For those who have a sense of humour and understand that meaning can be created by anybody at any moment.”
The publication is available in the HORNBACH online shop for EUR 18.00. The building instructions can be downloaded free of charge from hornbach.de/aiweiwei
Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way Credits
The pack was developed at LIESEL. The manual and publication was designed at Data-Orbit.