The purpose of all art is to make an impact -- to open people's minds, to make them question their place in the world, to take their preconceptions and shatter them into a million pieces. It's a mission that an exhibit at the Serralves Museum in Portugal definitely accomplished last week, after one unsuspecting patron took a Looney Tunes-style tumble into the artistic (and literal) abyss.
The art exhibit in question was Anish Kapoor's Descent Into Limbo, a brain teaser of a piece that, thanks to some ultra-dark black paint, no one could figure out. Was it a hole? Was it a black spot on the floor? The piece invites mystery -- a mystery heightened by the guards the museum placed around the piece to stop disenchanted millennials from stepping inside and letting the darkness wash over them like so much rancid sarcophagus juice.
Unfortunately, the true nature of Descent Into Limbo was soon confirmed after an unsuspecting 60-year-old tourist bypassed the security vanguard and fell into an eight-foot-deep hole. (We can neither confirm nor deny reports that he hung in the air like Wile E. Coyote for a few seconds before dropping.) The museum has now closed the exhibit until they can figure out what happened. While we're not trained investigators by any stretch of the imagination, we're going to recommend that they start with the massive hole in the middle of their gallery floor.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter about depressing history that you should definitely subscribe to. He'd also like to thank Zanandi Botes for bringing this dopey-ass nonsense to his attention.
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