Is this the art destruction story to rule them all? In terms of visual drama, most certainly: in an exhibition by Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch, a toppling row of pedestals presents the perfect cascade of dominos, beautifully drawing out the shock of one momentary misstep. It was triggered by one woman who backed up to pose with the installation for a photograph, but instead lost her balance and fell against one pedestal, sending off the chain. The estimated damage: about $200,000.
The incident occurred two weeks ago at the 14th Factory in LA, a pop-up exhibition space conceived of by Birch, but the glorious footage was uploaded to YouTube today by someone who claims to know Birch personally. Open since March, the show features works by him and 20 other artists that fill 14 rooms in a massive warehouse. It’s an art show made for the Instagram age; Carolina Miranda of the LA Times described it as a “series of wondrous, over-the-top sets for the perfect selfie [that] makes Instagram the perfect platform through which to experience all the high-budget spectacle.”
The footage captures a room that hosts the installation Hypercaine. A collaboration between Birch, Gabriel Chan, Jacob Blitzer, and Gloria Yu, the piece consists of a grid formed by pedestals that each carry a crown-like object. While some are made of wood, nylon, and scrap metal, others are crafted from precious metals such as gold, silver, and marble.
“Three sculptures were permanently damaged and others to varying degrees,” Yu told Hyperallergic.
You have until July 30 to check out the 14th Factory and snap your own photos, although you do have to purchase tickets in advance (at $18 a pop, not including fees). If you do go, please, please review Hyperallergic’s past coverage of selfie-seekers destroying art — from a Kusama pumpkin to centuries-old sculptures — as a reminder to stay alert. And never forget: DON’T TOUCH THE ART!
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