Ai Weiwei: Sunflower seeds

At first sight Ai Weiwei's installation Sunflower Seeds presents us with an undifferentiated field of grey, filling the space between the bridge and the end wall of Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. It is almost disappointing.

The late Felix Gonzalez-Torres's piles of cellophane-wrapped sweets, which he showed in the 1980s, were prettier, and you were free to eat them (the American artist liked the idea that people could leave his shows with a nice taste lingering in their mouths). But the sweets were also metaphors for the Aids crisis, and much besides.

Ai Weiwei - Sunflower seeds

Nothing in art is what it seems. And you can't eat a single one of Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds, any more than you could Marcel Duchamp's marble sugar cubes. They'd break your teeth.

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Tate buys eight million Ai Weiwei sunflower seeds (