Dear Ai Weiwei,
I am writing to thank you for creating @Large, which I visited on January 17, 2015. When I returned home to Oregon, I gave a public talk about the art installation. It gave me great pleasure to share your message of freedom with people who could not visit Alcatraz in person. I’m a writer. I juggle words, save words, judge and cherish words; yet now I am unable to construct a sentence that adequately thanks you for your vision and bravery.
So I will describe the dream I had about @Large. I dreamed that metal clamps, similar in shape to the wings of Refraction, came down and fastened onto my shoulders. The wings lifted me. I was transported to a room similar to spaces inside the Alcatraz New Industries building. Small birds flew around me. Bright yellow light filled the space and simple kites floated in the color. I suddenly had a realization, “Oh this is the Dream Room! Ai Weiwei created this room for all of us to visit in our dreams, so our spirits can continue thinking and talking about freedom.” I got so excited by the brilliance of this idea – your creation of an installation in the collective unconscious – that I woke myself up.
I will hold on to my dream as a souvenir. It reminds me there are realms to secure the power of art, and immeasurable ways we affect each other and change the world when we speak out against injustice. You make complex art with a clear message. You are a world-class shit disturber and a world-class artist, which makes you my hero.
I extend my sincere gratitude to you, Cheryl Haines and the FOR-SITE Foundation, and the many artist workers who made @Large possible. Thank you for including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the exhibition catalogue. These photos are by artist Paul Mavrides, who accompanied me to @Large. I hope you’ll see them and read this letter someday.
Please let me know if I can help in any small way.
Vicki Krohn Amorose