Piles of stolen Ai Weiwei sunflower seeds grow as Couriers of Taste exhibition idea succeeds
Alice Jones' Arts Diary
Back in February, the Arts Diary wrote about Couriers of Taste at Danson House in Bexleyheath. The curators were looking for anyone who had pocketed one of the millions of porcelain sunflower seeds that made up Ai Weiwei’s artwork at Tate Modern in 2010 to lend them their souvenirs for the show.
Since then they have received donations from all over the world, from Bristol to Brooklyn, and their loot is now on display with labels detailing each seed’s provenance. Last month they received a boost with the delivery of 10lb of seeds from “Matthew”, who was involved in transporting the artwork to New York.
“As a whole, the piece is quite large and unwieldy, and they weigh tonnes”, he explained. “Due to this, many of the little buggers escaped, and because of the volume, time, and expense of all of this, the general opinion was to not be frantic when a few squeaked away."
"Every attempt was made to corral and collect the larger leaks, but I personally took it upon myself as a big fan of Ai's to track down any and all I could… Given Ai's politics it seems he would be happier with them in the hands of the working man (like myself), as opposed to them being commoditised and hoarded by the ruling class. Maybe this is part of the work?”
Ai has not commented on the show.
“Everyone has a story about why they stole the seeds”, says Sarah Humphris at Bexley Heritage Trust. “We had one man from Hastings who took a handful and wants to leave one wherever he goes in the world – at the Eiffel Tower etc. And we had a woman who emailed us from Australia to say she pinched a couple but then lost them in her handbag on her flight home to Adelaide.”
The exhibition runs until 31 October and is still taking submissions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also in the Arts Diary
Books And it is whizzpopping!
MusicThey're running their own restaurants
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Dentist who illegally killed Cecil the lion blames local guides for the scandal
- 2 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 3 Norwich paedophile ring: Woman at centre of gang who made children 'sexual play things' guilty of 23 offences
- 4 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 5 Walter Palmer: American dentist revealed as the killer of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe
New on Netflix August 2015: From Narcos and Spellbound to Kick Ass 2 and Dinotrux
Listen! Beowulf opening line misinterpreted for 200 years
Heath Ledger's father reveals dead actor's 'Joker diary' written during The Dark Knight
Game of Thrones season 6: New toy line suggests Jon Snow is not among the dead
Spectre: Ellie Goulding is almost definitely singing the theme song to the next Bond film
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Labour leadership contest: I would never quit the party, says Liz Kendall