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Ai Weiwei’s Dragon and Snake, 2010
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Party Pictures

COTTON CANDY & A GOLDEN ZODIAC

Nov. 28, 2011 

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On Nov. 17, 2011, New York art dealer Paul Kasmin opened his new and largest space in Chelsea at 515 West 27th Street with an exhibition of the “gold set” -- gold-plated bronze, that is -- of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads: Gold (2010). None of the art dealers on hand would give a price for the attractive edition -- Ai Weiwei is being prosecuted for tax avoidance in China, after all -- but it must be a pretty penny. Ai’s zodiac has now been issued in two sizes, in editions of six and eight. The new 2,500-square-foot gallery (the former Bungalow 8 nightclub), which is sky-lighted and has a glass façade, is designed by architect Markus Dochantschi of studioMDA.

On Nov. 18, 2011, the painter Will Cotton presented Cockaigne, a brief ballet in two acts, the first featuring the burlesque queen Ruby Valentine, and the second a trio of dancers (Savannah Lowery, Georgina Pazcoguin and Ana Sofia Scheller), at the Prince George Ballroom on East 28th Street in Manhattan. Act I was accompanied by a violin duet, and Act II by a composition by John Zorn. The show involved a special fragrance as well, sprayed into the air before the performance and handed out as samples to the audience, dubbed “whipped cream” but smelling to some of chocolate. The event was part of Performa 11.

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