Events in University City

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Ai Weiwei: Bare Life

Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Mondays, Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 5


The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (1 Brookings Drive; kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu) officially reopens with a bang. Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei presents a major exhibition of work that spans the past twenty years of his career, some of which has never before been shown in the United States. Divided into two parts, Bare Life and Rupture, the show features monumental exhibitions such as Forever Bicycles (2019) and Through (2007-2008). The former is a commemorative arch built with Chinese-made bicycles, their carefully positioned tires lining up to create the image of telescoping lenses; the latter is an intersecting series of wooden pillars that pierce the surface of Qing Dynasty wooden tables. The work evokes China's own interrupted and intentionally erased history. Ai Weiwei: Bare Life also includes sculptures, photographs, films and a triptych constructed of LEGO bricks. The show runs from September 28 to January 5. 314-935-4523

Community Fun Day

Sat., Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

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All ages are welcomed at this family friendly event. There will be performances, storytelling, puzzles, crafts, scavenger hunts, button-making, and much more! Free and open to the public. In conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. 314-935-5490

Lecture: Ai Weiwei: Between Mao and Warhol

Wed., Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m.

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In this lecture, John J. Curley, associate professor of modern and contemporary art at Wake Forest University, will discuss the hybridity of Ai Weiwei’s artistic practice. In many of his works, Ai emulates Western exemplars like Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp but infuses these models with techniques learned from communist propaganda during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Ai’s practice thus transforms Duchamp’s and Warhol’s postures of critical ambiguity into clear political statements, allowing his works to be read as both works of contemporary art and social activism. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

Gallery Conversation: On Ai Weiwei and Architectural Design

Thu., Oct. 31, 5:30 p.m.

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Igor Marjanović, JoAnne Stolaroff Cotsen Professor and chair of undergraduate architecture in the Sam Fox School, and students from "Introduction to Design Processes I" will join Sabine Eckmann, William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator, for a discussion of Ai Weiwei's art in relation to architectural context and human experience. Free and open to the public. In conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. 314-935-5490

Art on Campus Walking Tour

Fri., Nov. 1, 2 p.m.

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Put on your walking shoes for a tour of artworks installed throughout the Danforth Campus as part of the Art on Campus program, led by Leslie Markle, curator for public art. The 90-minute begins at the Kemper Art Museum and will include a stop at the new Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden to see the latest Art on Campus commission by Dan Graham. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for walking. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

Art Inspiring Music: Challenging Perceptions: Harmonic and Social Dissonances

Thu., Nov. 7, 6 p.m.

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This season’s special exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life serves as inspiration for this unique program featuring the violin/clarinet/percussion ensemble F-PLUS. With driving rhythms, moments of extreme dissonance, and complex, interweaving lines, F-PLUS will embark on a sonic journey evocative of Ai Weiwei’s artworks that challenge us to be aware of the world around us in times of political and social turmoil. The program will include works by Roger Zare, WashU composer Christopher Stark, and Howie Kenty. Free and open to the public. Cosponsored with the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences. 314-935-5490

Fall Fire Festival

Sat., Nov. 9, 5:30-8 p.m.
The Green Center 8025 Blackberry Ave., University City University City

Buy Tickets$0-$15


Join us for our Annual Fall Fire Festival! Adult tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children (12 and under) are free! Included in your ticket price: Enjoy an evening with your family and friends under the stars listening to music, watching fire performers, getting warm around a bonfire, making s'mores, visiting our children's activity table and more! Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included. A special thank you to Urban Chestnut and Schlafly Breweries for their beer donation! Food trucks will be available onsite to purchase food. We welcome 2Girls 4Wheels AND Mann Meats food trucks 314-725-8314

Alarm Will Sound - Erasing Musical Boundaries

Sat., Nov. 9, 7:30-9 p.m.
The 560 Music Center 560 Trinity Ave., University City University City

Buy Tickets


Alarm Will Sound, "one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene" (The New York Times), debuts at the 560 Music Center with a performance highlighting it’s mission to erase boundaries of musical genre. The evening features world premieres of music by MacArthur grant recipient Tyshawn Sorey and electronic musician Aphex Twin, as well as a piece by Colombian-American composer José Martinez. 314-421-3600

Alarm Will Sound

Sat., Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.
The 560 Music Center 560 Trinity Ave., University City University City


314-421-3600

Blacks in America: 400 Years Plus featuring Karine Jean-Pierre

Sun., Nov. 10, 3-5:30 p.m.
Washington University-Graham Chapel 6445 Forsyth Blvd., University City University City

Buy TicketsFREE


Join us for the finale of the Blacks in America: 400 Years Plus trilogy, during the month in which national elections are held. The program includes additional speakers, performances and more! This event features Karine Jean-Pierre, NBC and MSNBC Political Analyst. Her new book, Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America will be available for sale after the event. The year 2019 marks 400 years since the first documented arrival of Africans in the United States. This event is in alignment with a national agenda to recognize the significance of this anniversary.

Gallery Conversation: On China's Past in the Present

Thu., Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m.

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In this gallery talk, Kristina Kleutghen, David W. Mesker Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology in Arts & Sciences, and Sabine Eckmann, William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator, will discuss Ai Weiwei's engagement with China's history, including his use of Chinese artifacts and traditional crafts at the same time the country undergoes a radical and ongoing transformation into a global present and future. Free and open to the public. In conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. 314-935-5490

Chinese Language Tour of Ai Weiwei: Bare Life

Fri., Nov. 15, 2 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m.

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Join WashU art history major Lingran Zhang (LA21) for a special tour of Ai Weiwei: Bare Life in Chinese. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

The Rest

Sat., Nov. 16, 6 p.m.
Washington University-Steinberg Hall Forsyth & Skinker blvds, University City University City


The Rest is a new feature-length documentary by Ai Weiwei about refugees who have arrived in Europe, fleeing war, poverty, and persecution in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and other conflict-ridden countries. Most of this deeply personal, trenchant film is told through interviews with refugees and footage of their living situations. They speak of the hardships and dangers they experienced in their home countries and the treacherous routes they undertook to find safety in Europe.The Rest is not only an accumulation of refugees’ stories but also a mirror of the current European political zeitgeist, with profound implications for US audiences as well. 314-935-5490

Truths & Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice

Mon., Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m.

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Geoff Ward, associate professor and associate chair in the Department of African & African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences, will discuss his Teaching Gallery exhibition, Truths and Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice. Through a selection of artworks from the Museum's collection and objects from the Washington University Libraries, the exhibition considers how art and its presentation can bear witness to difficult truths–colonialism, enslavement, lynching–and the need to reckon with injustice and contribute to repair. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

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