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Maurizio Cattelan: Seoul museum visitor consumes banana artwork

A South Korean art student ate a banana from artist Maurizio Cattelan’s installation, claiming he was “hungry” after skipping breakfast.

Part of Cattelan’s “WE” show, “Comedian” comprised of a ripe banana duct-taped to a wall at Seoul’s Leeum Museum of Art.

Noh Huyn-soo, the student, taped the peel to the wall after eating the banana.

According to local media, the museum later replaced the banana with a new one.

Mr Noh’s friend recorded the encounter, which lasted more than a minute.

The Leeum Museum of Art did not respond to the BBC’s email query. However, it has told the media that it will not sue the student for damages.

According to reports, the banana on display is swapped every two or three days.

As Mr Noh removes the banana from the wall, shouts of “excuse me” can be heard in videos posted online. As the room falls silent, he does not respond and begins eating.

He then taps the peel to the wall and postures briefly before going away.

Mr Noh later told local media that Cattelan’s work was a form of rebellion against a specific power. “There could be another rebellion against the rebellion,” said a student from Seoul National University to KBS.

“I felt it would be interesting to examine how damaging an artwork might be viewed as an artwork… Isn’t it taped up and ready to eat?”

When informed of the occurrence, Mr Cattelan stated, “No problem at all.”

This is not the first time a visitor has eaten bananas utilized in Mr Cattelan’s work.

After the artwork was sold for $120,000 (£91,000) at Art Basel Miami in 2019, performance artist David Datuna removed the banana from the wall.

The fruit was replaced quickly, and no further action was taken.


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