A South Korean art student ate a banana that was part of an installation by artist Maurizio Cattelan, saying he was “hungry” after skipping breakfast.
The artwork called “Comedian”, part of Cattelan’s’s exhibition “WE”, consisted of a ripe banana duct-taped to a wall at Seoul’s Leeum Musuem of Art.
After eating the banana, the student, Noh Huyn-soo, taped the peel to the wall.
The museum later placed a new banana at the same spot, reported local media.
The incident, which lasted more than a minute, was recorded by Noh’s friend.
The Leeum Musuem of Art did not respond to an email inquiry by the BBC. However, it told media that it will not claim damages against the student.
The banana on display is reportedly replaced every two or three days.
In videos posted online, shouts of “excuse me” can be heard as Noh takes the banana off the wall. He does not respond and starts eating as the room goes quiet.
He then tapes the peel to the wall and poses for a moment before walking off.
Noh later told local media that he saw Cattelan’s work as a rebellion against a certain authority. “There could be another rebellion against the rebellion,” the Seoul National University student told KBS.
“Damaging an artwork could also be seen as an artwork, I thought that would be interesting… Isn’t it taped there to be eaten?”
When told about the incident, Cattelan said, “No problem at all”.
This is not the first time bananas used for Cattelan’s work have been eaten by a visitor.
In 2019, performance artist David Datuna pulled the banana from the wall after the artwork was sold for $120,000 (£91,000) at Art Basel in Miami.
The banana was swiftly replaced and no further action was taken.