The banana duct-tape lark is at the extreme end of the measuring stick, with, say, a Edvard Munch or Jackson Pollock at the other end. "The Scream" sold for $120 million.
Both are pretty absurd - but with the Munch painting, I can at least understand the general concept. There's a physical object that changes owner - and because it is a worldwide unique object, supply and demand can lead to a crazy sum being paid for it every once in a while. If someone has a gazillion bucks to throw around, why not pay part of it for something that no one else will be able to own?
On the other hand, I don't know what exactly was even for sale during the banana-taped-to-the-wall stunt. The banana, even if not eaten, would have been gone in weeks. Duct tape, once peeled off of a wall, doesn't really work a second time either. The idea of taping a banana to a wall... is that really worth $120K, even if it comes with a document describing the idea as "original"?
If it is, maybe I can interest someone in buying one of the following:
- a cornichon screwed to a wall with a rusty Phillips head screw
- a hard-boiled egg balanced on an opened bottle of Primitivo red wine
- stripes of bacon hung from a silver candelabrum with only one candle burning
All of these ideas I came up with myself. I promise I'll take less than 100 grand for either of them! :D