Woman Taking Selfie Causes $200,000 in Damage to Art Exhibit

By Michael Zhang

A woman shooting a selfie lost her balance at an art exhibition in Los Angeles recently, causing a reported $200,000 worth of damage to the artworks. The whole thing was caught on camera and can be seen in the 35-second surveillance video above.

Hyperallergic reports that the woman was visiting The 14th Factory, a collaborative art experience organized by the Hong Kong-based British artist Simon Birch. The exhibition is being held in an old warehouse, and many of the artworks are “photogenic” and designed to be “social,” writes the Los Angeles Times.

But for the woman, her goal of snapping a selfie with the art went horribly wrong. The surveillance video shows her crouching down next to an exhibit titled ‘Hypercaine’ (2016). It consists of a grid of 60 pedestals, with each one displaying some type of crown fashioned from various materials (including precious metals such as gold and silver).

Inside a serene space, singular objects rest on plinths: these are crowns, or at least some resemblance of what a crown might be, presented as precious trophies or boons. The title of this work was inspired by the electronic dance track ‘Hypercaine’ by DJ Fresh. It is also a signifier of the ultimate human drug — power. – Simon Birch, Gloria Yu, Gabriel Chan and Jacob Blizter Brass, nylon, gold plate, marble, wood, stone, metal, 2016 – Customize your own crown ring in nylon, brass, gold-plated brass, silver or gold at the gift shop. Email info@the14thfactory.com for details. – #14thFactory #SimonBirch #GloriaYu #Crowns #Hypercaine #ContemporaryArt #DTLA #artsdistrict Photo credit: @kaotikwestcoast

A post shared by The 14th Factory (@the14thfactory) on Jul 13, 2017 at 3:58pm PDT

As she’s preparing to shoot her selfie, the woman loses her balance and falls backwards, knocking over the pedestal in the corner. That one knocks over another, and a domino effect chain reaction begins.

“Three sculptures were permanently damaged and others to varying degrees,” exhibit co-artist Gloria Yu tells Hyperallergic. “The approximate cost of damage is $200,000.”

The price placed on artwork can be rather arbitrary, of course, but needless to say, this is one costly and embarrassing selfie accident that the woman will probably remember for a very long time.

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