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MIA: When Home Won’t Let You Stay – Art and Migration

Feb 21, 2020 | art/design

For its local presentation, Mia commissioned Twin Cities–based CarryOn Homes and Postcommodity, based in the American Southwest, to create artworks highlighting stories of home and the difficult journey of migrants. The exhibition also includes the U.S. premiere of Ai Weiwei’s Safe Passage.

An internationally recognized artist and activist, Ai Weiwei has used his work to bring increased attention and visibility to human rights issues. Debuting in Berlin, with later iterations in Japan and Chile, Safe Passage marks its U.S. premiere at Mia. The installation comprises thousands of discarded lifejackets, worn by refugees making the dangerous sea journey from Turkey to Greece, to be installed on Mia’s exterior columns.

CarryOn Homes, COH Living Room, 2020
Comprising five artists from five countries—Zoe Cinel (Italy), Preston Drum (USA), Aki Shibata (Japan), Peng Wu (China) and Shun Jie Yong (Malaysia)—CarryOn Homes is dedicated to telling the stories of immigrants and refugees in the United States through art. COH Living Room is a shared space for local immigrant and refugee communities to access resources, connect, and have restful and healing conversations.

Postcommodity, Let Us Pray for the Water Between Us, 2020
A large chemical storage tank becomes a self-playing polyrhythmic “host drum” that pounds out rhythms derived from Dakota songs. Artists Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist are working with the local Dakota community members to determine appropriate ceremonial rhythms. The drum’s placement in Mia’s Bruce B. Dayton Rotunda challenges the centrality of venerated objects like Mia’s Doryphoros—considered the ideal human form in ancient Greece—as foundational to the Western art historical canon.

February 23–May 24, 2020

Target Galleries


Photo (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press) TWINCITIES.COM





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