Woman falls while taking selfie, destroys row of artwork worth $200,000

The selfie fail heard around the world worked like a Rube Goldberg machine: The woman with her back against a pedestal with artwork on top bends down to take a good angle, loses her balance, knocks over the pedestal and triggers a domino effect of toppling pedestals.

At $200,000 worth of damages, it’s a very expensive Rube Goldberg machine.

The video, which has been viewed more than 350,000 times since being published Thursday, was taken at The 14th Factory exhibition space in Los Angeles. The art installation was created by British artist Simon Birch, along with a crew of international collaborators, to create a Stanley Kubrick-inspired, Instagram-friendly atmosphere.

The viral video was not shared by The 14th Factory, according to its spokesperson, who talked to CNET.

The rows of pedestals were part of the “Hypercaine” exhibition, which displayed sculptural crowns and other objects by Birch and three other artists. The crowns were made from both cheap material, such as wood, nylon and scrap metal, and precious metals such as gold and silver.

Gloria Yu, one of the artists who put together “Hypercaine” with Birch, told the art and culture site Hyperallegic three sculptures were permanently damagedand others “to varying degrees.”

It is unknown who the woman who knocked over the pedestals is. The 14th Factory would not confirm if the artworks are insured, according to The Guardian. 

If you are down in Los Angeles, the exhibition runs until the end of the month sans pedestals. But please, mind the gap between you, your camera and the artwork when taking a selfie.

Photo: Keven Hinojosa takes a selfie alongside a statue of Auguste Rodin in the quad of Stanford University, March 20, 2014. Hinojosa, a visiting high school senior from Corona, is on a college tour. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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  • Tang Cindy

    They should secure the base of the poles, not a very good display idea; anyone could just trip into it.