- - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pick of the Pack

Exhibit: ‘Ai Weiwei: According to What?’

Ai Weiwei, China’s most famous artist and dissident, was scheduled to be in Washington for the Oct. 7 opening of the first North American survey of his work at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely he will make the trip since, as of this writing, Chinese authorities are still holding his passport following his 2011 arrest and 81-day detention. His alleged crime is tax evasion — though his real “crime” is outspoken criticism of the Chinese government, criticism that is reflected in much of his art. The Hirshhorn has devoted an entire floor (and then some) to his work, including sculpture, photography, installations, and audio and video exhibits, a number of which focus on the estimated 68,000 victims of the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake. “According to What?” is accompanied by “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” an installation of 12 Chinese Zodiac sculptures in the museum’s plaza. The exhibit would be noteworthy for creative imagination and invention alone — this is the artist known for “Sunflower Seeds,” the 2010 exhibit of 100 million porcelain seeds hand-painted by Chinese artisans, as well as his collaboration on the 2008 Olympic stadium in Beijing — but given the political implications, it’s not to be missed.

Through Feb. 24 at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, 700 Independence Ave. SW.

Phone: 202/633-1000.

Web: hirshhorn.si.edu.

Equestrian Event: Morven Park Fall Horse Trials

If you didn’t make it to the equestrian events at the Olympics in London, well, you didn’t miss much. Team USA unfortunately didn’t win any equestrian medals, though Karen O’Connor, a resident of The Plains, Va., placed ninth of 25 in individual eventing. (The U.S. placed seventh in team eventing, which was dominated by Europeans.) Nonetheless, eventing — a “horse triathlon” featuring dressage, show jumping and cross-country jumping — is exciting whether or not you wear riding boots. This weekend, the Morven Park Equestrian Center will host the Fall Horse Trials, with four U.S. Olympians, including Ms. O’Connor, scheduled to participate. The grounds, which include the mansion of former governor of Virginia Westmoreland Davis (1918-1922) and more than 1,000 acres of gardens and lawns, are sure to provide a picturesque autumnal setting.

Oct. 5 through 7 at Morven Park Equestrian Center, 41793 Tutt Lane, Leesburg, Va.

Phone: 703/777-2890.

Web: morvenpark.org.

Food: Taste of D.C.

If you work in downtown Washington, you’ve seen the food trucks that park in busy spots like Farragut Square during lunch time — and perhaps heard about the feuds between the trucks and the nearby brick-and-mortar restaurants over regulations that could make it difficult for the former to compete. This weekend, the restaurants and food trucks have put it all behind them for Taste of D.C., a three-day street festival featuring more than 50 D.C. eateries, both on and off wheels. The options run from A to Z — or from American Ice Co., the V Street Northwest barbecue joint by D.C.’s restaurant and nightlife duo Eric and Ian Hilton, to the Uptown Tap House, a casual contemporary American restaurant and raw bar that opened last month in Cleveland Park. And you don’t want to skip those food trucks, especially Pepe, featuring Spanish-inspired sandwiches by reigning tapas king Jose Andres (Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Minibar). Between bites, enjoy live music, family activities and the Stella Artois Beer Pavilion featuring more than 30 local, national and international beers.

Oct. 6 through 8 at Pennsylvania Ave. NW between Ninth & 14th streets Northwest.

Phone: 202/618-FOOD.

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