Selfies are rarely encouraged in galleries and museums. The art of the self-indulgent snap often poses a nuisance for other people looking to enjoy an exhibition, especially when your selfie destroys the art itself.
This is exactly what happened at a recent group show at the 14th Factory in Los Angeles, in which participants were encouraged to take selfies amid the myriad installations. A woman valiantly went where so many other brave souls have gone before, attempting to take a selfie in front of a domino-like display of pedestals. She was unsuccessful. After kneeling down in front of the display, she gently nudged one of the pedestals by accident, causing a chain-reaction and a very disastrous game of dominos that ruined a quarter of the entire piece.
The incident occurred two weeks ago but was uploaded to YouTube yesterday. The exhibit, which opened in March after a four-year delay, featured the work of various artists, according to Hyperallergic. One of the artists in question, Gloria Yu, claims that the woman’s selfie-fail amounted to $200,000 worth of damage. “Three sculptures were permanently damaged and others to varying degrees,” she told the publication.
According to The Guardian, the incident could have just been an elaborate piece of performance art, as the paper reports: "Some have thrown doubt on whether the accident, captured perfectly by what appears to be CCTV footage, was in fact a stunt by one or more of the artists involved." Up until now, claims of the disaster-selfie being a ruse are still unverified.
The woman’s ill-fated selfie is a prescient reminder that breaking art tends to be pretty expensive and that your personal vanity shots might one day pay a price. Just ask the kid who accidentally tore a hole in a $1.5 million painting.