What would an artist choose to exhibit if they knew that the piece would be stolen? This was one of the questions at the heart of the Stealable Art Exhibition. The Japan Times reported that the exhibition was designed as an “experiment,” a new look at the relationship between creators and consumers.
Same Gallery in Tokyo had originally planned to hold the exhibition from July 10th to the 19th. During that time, the gallery would be open 24 hours a day with no security. The idea was that patrons could walk out with whatever they wanted. But as soon as the show officially opened, the gallery “was emptied in a matter of minutes,” says Hyperallergic.
About 200 people arrived, and many walked out carrying valuable pieces of modern art by artists like Joji Nakamura and Merge Majurdan. Police officers were present but only for crowd control.
Hyperallergic shared the following Instagram post showing the crowd waiting for the opening of the Stealable Art Exhibition to raid the gallery and the ransacked space:
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Cover photo depicts an empty room, not Same Gallery