The disappearance of the artist Ai Weiwei is something that I haven’t mentioned on Vandalog, but it’s been at the front of my mind offline for almost two months now. Weiwei has been missing for more than 50 days. If you haven’t heard about this (or you just want to keep up to date on the news), check out this site.
Last Friday night, Geandy projected an image of Ai Weiwei on the Chinese consulate building in NYC. Here’s a video:
Right now at the Tate Modern in London, there’s an artwork in the main hall by Ai Weiwei. The work is called Sunflower Seeds. It consists of about 100 million hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds. Even from up close, these porcelain seeds look real. It’s quite… something. But actually, that’s what I saw at the Tate a few weeks ago. Now, that’s just what most people think they’re seeing. IOCOSE says different though. The group of European artists used slingshots to fire 4 real sunflower seeds in the midst of Ai Weiwei’s sea of porcelain seeds to create their new artwork, Sunflower seeds on “Sunflower Seeds”. Okay yeah, there’s some conceptual art meta-bs going on here, but I still love it and within the context of a museum and interacting with a piece of conceptual art, that seems perfectly appropriate. IOCOSE’s act is just the playful sort of thing that Ai Weiwei would probably love. Fantastic work.
Here’s some of what IOCOSE says about Sunflower seeds on “Sunflower Seeds”:
The new artwork looks exactly the same as the previous one, as the natural seeds and those made of porcelain are indistinguishable from each other. IOCOSE reclaims the authorship of the new installation and reminds viewers of Ai Weiwei’s previous statement: ‘what you see is not what you see, and what you see is not what it means’.
And here’s a video of the performance/action taking place: