Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is the latest gallery in Australia to ban selfie sticks, presumably after a few too many people swung them dangerously close to artworks in the pursuit of the perfect #artselfie. GOMA now joins the Queensland Art Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Australia, and National Portrait Gallery in Canberra in banning selfie sticks. In a statement yesterday, GOMA called the selfie stick a potential threat to the safety of its patrons and artwork
There have been no reported cases of damaged artworks caused by the telescopic smartphone holders, but a growing list of galleries are editing their terms of entry to pre-empt any incidents. Major museums in the US, including the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, have also banned the sticks.) The Louvre in Paris and the Tate in London however remain selfie stick friendly—for now.)
Despite being one of Australia's most popular Christmas gifts in 2014, the selfie stick's omnipresence has caused more confusion than the Skywhale. Earlier in the week, the Soundwave festival announced it too would confiscate selfie sticks; after seeing festivalgoers snap away in mosh pits during the Melbourne leg of the festival tour, Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah took his outrage to Twitter.
"People with those fucking camera sticks," he wrote, "have some consideration for people behind you trying to enjoy the show."
While critics decry the supposed narcissism of the current generation, galleries know better than to stand in the way of the selfie, with more and more institutions lifting their "no photography" rules. The NGV in Melbourne explicitly encouraged visitors to snap and share their shots of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition on social media, making use of what is essentially free marketing. So while you'll need to check your selfie stick at the door, rest assured, galleries will still let you make like Queen B.
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