Now on long-term display in the gardens (check the website for opening hours)
Now’s your chance to see Ai Weiwei’s controversial Gilded Cage at Blenheim Palace.
Originally conceived for Central Park in New York in 2017, the seven-metre-high installation made from steel fences is now on long-term display in the palace’s plush gardens.
The golden structure, which calls to mind a colossal bird cage, a symbol of freedom curtailed, reflects on the international migrant crisis and the physical and ideological constraints of life as a refugee. To explore the inside of the cage, visitors have to pass through a series of turnstiles.
‘The work itself is a commentary on fences and borders,’ said the Chinese artist and human rights campaigner. ‘As we can see, the world today encounters new possibilities, while being challenged by unthinkable crisis at the same time. To rethink our humanity is crucial for human development.’
In 2014 Ai became the first contemporary artist to exhibit at Blenheim Palace. According to Lord Spencer-Churchill, Founder of Blenheim Art Foundation, the installation is ‘an exciting milestone in our long-term vision of establishing a permanent presence of contemporary art at Blenheim Palace.’