Maurizio Cattelan’s banana art work eaten by artwork scholar in Seoul Lalrp CNA7FMQIPWBCKGMFUAF5Y3CL7Y

SEOUL — Artwork fans and curious onlookers alike have gone bananas for an exhibition right here by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, with tickets getting snapped up as quickly as they develop into accessible.

Because the exhibition, “WE,” opened in January, guests have converged on the Leeum Museum within the posh Hannam neighborhood to gawk at — and take selfies with — taxidermied horses, eerily practical mannequins and a banana duct-taped to the wall.

However an artwork scholar at considered one of South Korea’s high universities has introduced much more consideration to the exhibition by consuming the banana — or art work for those who’d want to name it that — different copies of which have offered for $120,000.

In a video published final week by Korean broadcaster KBS, the Seoul Nationwide College artwork scholar, Noh Hyun-soo, is seen pulling the banana off the wall as a voice is heard calling out, “Hey, you there!” Disregarding the plea, Noh peels the banana after which calmly devours it in a matter of seconds earlier than taping the peel again on to the wall and posing for the digicam; his buddy was recording the stunt, in response to KBS.

“I discovered it enjoyable in that defacing a murals may very well be seen as a murals itself,” Noh informed KBS, including that he informed the museum he had eaten the banana — which is changed each few days, as it’s a actual, ripening banana — as a result of he was hungry. “And I don’t assume I noticed anybody else do one thing like this, so I simply went forward and did it for enjoyable. Don’t they put [the banana] on the wall for consuming, anyway?”

However Noh was not the primary to make a snack of “Comic.” Efficiency artist David Datuna ate one of many bananas at Artwork Basel Miami in 2019.

A rogue artist ate the $120,000 duct-taped banana at Artwork Basel. ‘It’s efficiency,’ he stated.

When “Comic” offered for $120,000 at Artwork Basel, it renewed a debate within the artwork world and past about what precisely constitutes artwork.

To some critics, Cattelan’s work is lazily easy; to others, it’s intentionally austere, or tongue-in-cheek. The Guggenheim provided to lend considered one of his items, a gold rest room titled “America,” to the White Home after the Trump administration had requested to borrow a Van Gogh to furnish the president’s residing quarters. When requested about the bathroom by The Washington Put up on the time, Cattelan stated in a uncommon cellphone interview, “What’s the purpose of our life? Every part appears absurd till we die after which it is smart.” The functioning rest room was stolen whereas on exhibition in Britain in 2019.

On the Leeum on Tuesday, a alternative banana was intact as an attendant stood watch over it. She reprimanded one girl who received inside inches of the fruit, apparently attempting to get a more in-depth look, and one other who stood close to it for an image. One girl observing the banana mused to her group about consuming it earlier than jokingly lunging at it together with her mouth agape. The attendant didn’t budge however did say if this reporter had been to aim to eat the banana, she must intervene.

Joo Ha-yeon, a scholar on an arts highschool area journey (scheduled earlier than the caper), stood subsequent to a classmate as she noticed the banana. She wasn’t impressed by Noh’s stunt.

“It was form of apparent as a result of the primary one already did it,” she stated, referencing the 2019 feast. “So I simply thought he was wanting the eye of Koreans.” However Joo and her classmate agreed that due to the media consideration, the feat was, in actual fact, artwork.

Don’t ask if the duct-tape banana is artwork. Ask if it’s any good.

Cattelan couldn’t instantly be reached for his ideas on the matter, and Perrotin, a gallery that represents him, didn’t reply to a request for remark. The museum informed Cattelan concerning the stunt however he “didn’t have any response to it,” reported.

As for Noh, the Leeum is just not pursuing “any particular actions” towards him, a spokesperson for the museum, Miso Han, stated in an electronic mail. The art work was “changed proper after the incident,” which Han stated “occurred unexpectedly.”

Jintak Han contributed to this report.