Study of Perspective So much for the famous buildings
This impudence was clearly just a step too far into rudeness for Middle England, though it amused Ai’s fans.
Ai’s artwork is much admired by the art establishment in the UK. In 2010 his sunflower seeds covered the floor of the Tate Modern Turbine Hall — at least until health and safety concerns about the dust from the millions of porcelain seeds threatened to close it down.
Now Ai is creating a stir at Blenheim Palace, and in 2015 his work will be displayed in an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London.
Influenced by Warhol as well as Duchamp’s readymades, which he encountered while living in New York in the 1980s, Ai’s work injects a great deal of fun into Blenheim. Whatever his motivation, the juxtaposition of this installation in such an unlikely setting challenges both day trippers and art lovers alike. There are not many venues where one can stub a toe on a giant porcelain watermelon while reading about Churchill’s war effort. Madeleine Morrow