In yet another example of the hoax that is “modern art,” cleaners at the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, where the “Harbour Art fair 2018” is being held, threw away one of the exhibits because they genuinely though it was trash.
The exhibit, titled “Unhappy Meal” (a play on the McDonald’s “Happy Meal” menu) was a cardboard box with a “unhappy” emoji face, all in McDonald’s colors.
According to a report in the Swiss Local news service, Zurich “reality artist” Carol May had made the “Unhappy Meal” sculpture for display at the fair, which is held in a series of rooms in the hotel, located on Hong Kong’s famous Kowloon Peninsula.
“A lot of my pieces involve very small alterations to familiar items: changes that aren’t maybe obvious at first glance,” May told The Local.
However, as the Local reported, “in this case, cleaners at the Hong Kong hotel were also unable to spot the difference and threw away the artwork valued at around 350 francs.”
The cardboard box was apparently rescued the piece from the trash, “but it was battered beyond repair.”
“Initially I didn’t find it funny at all,” May said. “But later I realized it meant my imitation had been a success.”
This is not the first time that “modern art”—which is actually meaningless nonsense produced by untalented individuals who are unable to produce anything of aesthetic or real artistic value—has been thrown away by unappreciative cleaners.
In 2015, cleaners at Italy’s Museion Bozen-Bolzano museum threw away “art” duo Goldschmied & Chiari’s “Where shall we go dancing tonight?” exhibit which featured cigarette butts, 300 empty champagne bottles, and confetti.
In the same year, a wood and tile “sculpture” by New York-based “artist” Jmi Osman was removed from a public art show in Madison, Connecticut, by a local maintenance worker, who tore it apart and threw it in the garbage. The worker thought the “sculpture” was trash left behind by local skateboarders and used a hammer to dismantle it.
In February 2012, a cleaner threw “contemporary artworks” made out of newspaper, cardboard, and cookie pieces scattered across the floor. The alleged “art” was part of the Sala Murat “modern art” gallery in Bari, southern Italy.
In 2004, a bag of paper and cardboard by “artist” Gustav Metzger was thrown out as trash by a cleaner while it was on “display” at the Tate Museum in London.
In 2001, a pile of beer bottles, overflowing ashtrays, and coffee cups, supposedly set up as “art” by “artist” Damien Hirst at London’s Eyestorm Gallery was cleared away as trash by a cleaner.