We always knew Ai Weiwei was a fan of Marcel Duchamp. The Chinese artist’s massive bicycle sculptures made reference to both a mode of transport commonly associated with Chinese peasantry, and also Duchamp’s first readymade,Bicycle Wheel (1913), consisting of the front forks and wheel of a bike fitted into a wooden stool.
Now the Chinese artist has drawn on the stool part of that French surrealist’s pioneer work for his latest exhibition, the largest ever devoted to Ai, which opens in Berlin this Thursday. The show, entitledEvidence, is at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition hall, and consists of either entirely new works, or pieces never seen in Germany before. The exhibition is huge, taking up 3,000 square metres in total and running across 18 rooms. The most spectacular work, installed in the main atrium, is Stools (2014).