AI Weiwei (born 1957, Beijing, China), Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, 2010. Bronze, variable dimensions. Private Lender, L2017:89

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads

December 01, 2017 to June 24, 2018

The “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” series is internationally-acclaimed artist AI Weiwei ’s reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan (Old Summer Palace), an imperial retreat outside Beijing. Ai Weiwei created this body of work in two sizes: the bronze monumental series and the gold collector series. The “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze” series is the artist’s first major public sculpture project. The work will be on view in the JSMA’s North Courtyard through June 24.

Designed in the eighteenth century by two European Jesuits serving in the Qing-dynasty (1644-1911) court of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799, ruled 1735-99), the twelve zodiac animal heads originally functioned as a water clockfountain in the magnificent European-style gardens of the Old Summer Palace. In 1860, the Yuanming Yuan was ransacked by French and British troops, and the animal heads were pillaged. By recreating and re-contextualizing these objects on an oversized scale, Ai Weiwei focuses attention on issues of looting and repatriation, while extending his ongoing exploration of the “fake” and the “copy” in relation to the original—encouraging open discourse on these complex topics.

Ai Weiwei’s bronze and gold “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” series have been exhibited at more than forty international venues and seen by millions of people since the official launch of this body of work in New York City in 2011, making this one of the most viewed sculpture projects in the history of contemporary art.

Brian Gillis. A Directional Antenna for Broadcasting Pirate Radio, 2016-Present. Colored porcelain,
copper, steel, and miscellaneous electrical components, 28 x 10 x 10 inches.


February 28, 2018 to April 29, 2018

Discursive features work—ranging from functional to sculptural, from performance to site-specific—created by UO faculty and visiting artists who participated in the 2016 Summer Craft Forum at the UO. During this two-week event, the participants – all of whom work in craft media, such as ceramics, metalsmithing, fibers, and printmaking – occupied UO studios to make art. During this period, they also engaged in group discussions about “craft” and its relationship to the discrete disciplines represented by the group and their individual practices. Discursive is, then, both the culmination of what was an extraordinary forum and an opportunity to deepen inquiry about contemporary craft discourses on campus and beyond. Artists whose works are featured in the exhibition include Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers, Noah Breuer, Sonja Dahl, Jovencio de la Paz, Brian Gillis, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Anya Kivarkis, Ben Levy, Charlene Liu, Ian McDonald, Jeanne Medina, Stacy Jo Scott, and Lori Talcott. The exhibition is made possible with funding from the School of Art + Design and a JSMA Academic Support Grant.

Herman Brookman: Visualizing the Sacred

February 21, 2018 to August 05, 2018

Twentieth-century architect Herman Brookman (1891-1973) designed several of Oregon’s most recognizable landmark structures, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Organized by and first presented at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE) in Portland in summer 2017, this exhibition of forty drawings, on loan from UO Special Collections and University Archives, focuses on one of Brookman’s masterpieces, Temple Beth Israel in Portland. These drawings for the only synagogue Brookman ever designed include initial concept sketches, alternatives for the exterior to the dramatic sanctuary, and additional architectural details. Together, they represent a rare opportunity to follow an architect’s creative process. The exhibition is curated by Kenneth Helphand, Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture, Emeritus, and Henry Kunowski (B. Arch. UO 1978), a Portland-based architectural historian and specialist in Cultural Resources. JSMA’s presentation is made possible thanks to a JSMA Academic Support Grant.

Ugochukwu Akabike, Jaria Martin, 2018

Don’t Touch My Hair: Expressions of Identity and Community

February 23, 2018 to May 13, 2018

Organized by UO graduate and guest curator Meredith Lancaster, this exhibition investigates the politics of hair, racialized beauty standards, hair rituals, and the differences in expectations between men and women with regard to hair. Especially relevant in the current politically and culturally charged climate and relevant to issues of access, equity, and inclusion, Don’t Touch My Hair explores how beauty is defined and represented within and outside one’s community. Lancaster and a team of student collaborators invite students and student groups across the UO campus to participate in conversations about hair, both seen and unseen, as a site of resistance and affirmation. Students will be self-selected during open forums for photographic portraits. Next to the portraits will be the sitters’ personal hair stories. The project and related events are generously funded by the UO Division of Equity and Inclusion.



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