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Arts and Entertainment

Woman Destroys $200k Worth Of Art While Trying To Take A Selfie At L.A.'s Hottest Exhibit

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Several weeks ago a woman taking a selfie inside Lincoln Heights' much-hyped 14th Factory exhibition space accidentally toppled a row of pedestals, causing approximately $200,000 in damage to the art.

The 14th Factory, which is run by Hong Kong-based British artist Simon Birch, has been one of L.A.'s hottest tickets since it opened in March. The temporary exhibition space is so Instagram-ready that the L.A. Times opened their headline with "Oh, the selfies you'll make at L.A.'s 14th Factory..." back in May, when art writer Carolina Miranda covered the installation. No one could have known just how prescient that statement would be.

The incident, which is captured in the security camera footage below, occurred about two weeks ago. A selfie-taking gallery visitor stepped backwards to capture herself in front of the Hypercaine installation and bumps into a pedestal. The "toppling row of pedestals presents the perfect cascade of dominos, beautifully drawing out the shock of one momentary misstep," as Hyperallergic put it.
Hypercaine features work by Simon Birch, Gloria Yu, Gabriel Chan and Jacob Blitzer.

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"There has been speculation whether this really happened or is a PR stunt. The truth is, the event did happen and it was caught on our security camera," 14th Factory spokesperson Jocelyn Ingram told LAist in an email. "Now that it got online, we would rather direct the sudden attention away from the unfortunate event and to the art in The 14th Factory space and the artists behind them. Each sculpture that had fallen involves 20-30 hours of man labor - including the artist’s conception, 3D designers’ modeling, and metal welders and workers’ crafting and assembly. It would be pretty irrational for the artists behind these sculptures to intentionally inflict harm on their own work hoping to gain any benefit."

According to Ingram, three sculptures were permanently damaged and others were damaged to varying degrees. The approximate cost of damage is $200,000.

Anyone looking to check out 14th Factory better hurry—they're only in Los Angeles until the end of the month.

The 14th Factory is located at 440 North Avenue 19 in Lincoln Heights. Tickets can be reserved here.

Related: Photos: That Bedroom From '2001: A Space Odyssey' Is Now At An L.A. Warehouse

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