THERE ARE [devilishly handsome] REBELS AT THE TATE!
or at least there were on 29 january. their piece will be on display until may.
here’s the story – there’s this exhibit that was on display at the tate starting last year that consisted of billions of tiny, hand-formed, hand-painted sunflower seeds made by ai weiwei and an army of chinese artists. the name of the exhibit was, shockingly, “sunflower seeds”.
these sunflower seeds were spread all over the floor of the hall in the tate modern and visitors would walk over this carpet of seed-porcelain, crunching as they go. decay and change was part of the exhibit. what was not part of the exhibit, though, were clouds of porcelain shard-ridden dust that were being inhaled by visitors. the tate and the artist decided to stop allowing visitors to step on the exhibit all together, and to allow viewing only from a swept walkway or the balcony above.
then comes along this group of mischief-makers called iocose. they’re clever enough to hold stock in my favorite axiom:
a well-dressed troublemaker is a successful troublemaker.
it’s true every time.
iocose, armed with a pack of sunflower seeds from the grocery and four sling shots, distributed real sunflower seeds among the porcelain ones in the exhibit. although the real seeds were indistinguishable from the sculpted ones, the exhibit had nevertheless changed and now needed a new name. the group stealthily amended the name plate to show the new name of the exhibit: sunflower seeds on sunflower seeds.
in their statement, iocose mentions weiwei’s statement on the original piece: ‘what you see is not what you see, and what you see is not what it means’. whatever. i think the statement would be much more resonant if iocose had altered it to “what you see and cheekiness have additive effects”.