No, this story has nothing to do with Tilda Swinton taking a nap in a box at MoMA, but it’s almost just as good. A teenager visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art earlier this week decided to test out the difference between “real art” and “item that should be put in the lost and found” by placing a pair of eyeglasses on the floor of a random gallery and observing whether others would mistake it for a modern art installation.
“Upon first arrival we were quite impressed with the artwork and paintings presented in the huge facility,” TJ Khayatan, the prankster in question, told BuzzFeed in an interview, recounting the animus behind the joke. “However, some of the ‘art’ wasn’t very surprising to some of us.”
After “[stumbling] upon a stuffed animal on a gray blanket and [questioning] if this was really impressive to some of the nearby people,” Khayatan then decided to challenge his nearby art patrons with his prank.
The reactions of onlookers varied, with some taking in Khayatan’s “Dadaist opus” by simply staring at it in all its glory, and others commemorating the glorious occasion of seeing an unlabeled, everyday item on the ground by snapping pics.
But not to be outdone, Khayatan did a bit of documentation of his own, by taking photos of others taking photos of his masterwork. He then proceeded to tweet the results, which ended up going viral. (At this point, how many layers of meta do we have going on at this point? Mine’s three. Or four. I think.)
As of now, Khayatan’s “art project” has been retweeted over 55,000 times.
As The Independent noted, this isn’t the first time the 17 year-old has pulled this sort of trick: Khayatan orchestrated a similar stunt with a baseball hat and a trash can only days prior to the eyeglasses incident.
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Image via Twitter.