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<nettime-ann> IOCOSE's 'Sunflower Seeds on Sunflower Seeds'at Tate Moder
Paolo Ruffino on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 22:39:34 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> IOCOSE's 'Sunflower Seeds on Sunflower Seeds'at Tate Modern, London, UK


Sunflower Seeds on Sunflower Seeds 
Sunflower seeds on “Sunflower Seeds” (2011)



IOCOSE exhibits a new artwork at Tate Modern, made from a previous artwork at Tate Modern.

The artist group has thrown several real sunflower seeds on Ai Weiwei's porcelain 'Sunflower Seeds'. The porcelain seeds, previously exhibited at the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, are now part of a new artwork by IOCOSE.

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'.

The artwork will be on exhibition from the 29th of January 2011 until the 2nd of May 2011.


On the early morning of Saturday 29th of January, the four members of artist group IOCOSE stopped at a grocery store at the Bankside district in London, UK. They bought an innocuous bag of sunflower seeds at the price of 1 British Pound. A short walk from the grocery was the 'Sunflower Seeds' exhibition by Ai Weiwei. The installation, exhibited at the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern as part of the Unilever Series, displayed millions of hand-crafted porcelains in the shape of sunflower seeds. The four IOCOSEs took hold of their catapults and started launching the cheaper and real sunflower seeds in the exhibition area. Then changed the signs at the Turbine Hall and renamed the artwork 'Sunflower Seeds on Sunflowers Seeds'.

While the security was trying to understand what was happening, the visitors appreciated the new artwork. 'It looks exactly the same' said an old lady when addressed by IOCOSE. 'I came here at Tate to see the famous work by Ai Weiwei, but I'm not disappointed to know the exhibition has been changed', said a boy, while taking pictures of the new artwork. A gentleman instead complained about the intervention: 'how very dare you? This is art that you are ruining, and art is everyone's!'.

It took a while before the security noticed IOCOSE's unruly behaviour. When asked to leave their own exhibition, the four IOCOSEs expressed disappointment and were joined by a group of tourists who were honestly appreciating the unexpected opening. Despite this, IOCOSE would like to complain for the lack of promptness by the security. Now that IOCOSE's work is on exhibition the group would like to demand major awareness on its preservation.

Artist group IOCOSE is proud to be exhibiting at such an important institution as Tate Modern. The Unilever Series featured in its previous editions some of the greatest international contemporary artists, such as Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Carsten Höller, Ai Weiwei and Miroslaw Balka. IOCOSE is proud to be mentioned next to such important artists.

The group IOCOSE started working in 2006. Among its most famous projects, in 2010 the group worked on 'In the Long Run', a BBC News special edition for the death of pop icon Madonna. In 2009 it exhibited 'Floppy Trip', a drug made of floppy discs. In the same year collaborated to 'Sokkomb', the IKEA guillotine. In 2008 set up a propaganda campaign for the Italian Democratic Party based on thousands of spam emails. IOCOSE is also responsible for the NoTube Contest, an ongoing contest for the most valueless video on YouTube.



contact {AT} iocose.org

Mobile (Paolo): 0044 (0)7502 172 687


Video: Adrian Rolea, Nikolai Christov
Photos: Jacek Barcikowski

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