While it’s unclear how or why the work broke, the presenting gallery, Mexico City–based Galería OMR, faulted the writer and art historian for coming too close to the fragile piece. Rico’s construction featured a soccer ball, rock, feather, and twig, among other objects, suspended in a thin sheet of glass, propped up vertically by a brass base.
Instead of simply apologizing, Lésper developed a mystical interpretation of the incident. She’d been openly criticizing Rico’s sculpture just before it broke. “It was like the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it,” Lésper told Milenio, a Mexican media group where she regularly publishes. The critic—who once published a book called El Fraude del Arte Contemporaneo (The Fraud of Contemporary Art, 2015)—suggested that the gallery preserve the shards. After all, Marcel Duchamp stated that his own TheLarge Glass (1915–23) was only finished after it was broken in transit and glued back together.
The gallery rejected Lésper’s inventive proposals, chastising her for an “enormous lack of professionalism and respect.” The critic then offered to help repair the piece. The gallery said it will reach out to Rico before determining the artwork’s fate.
Museo Soumaya director Alfonso Miranda took to Twitter to lament the artwork’s destruction, while others praised Lésper. “We should thank Avelina Lesper who is saving us from so much fake shit that they feed to us as ‘Art,’” wrote Twitter user SolArriagaV. “Avelina I am your fan.”