Salvage art, a term borrowed from the art insurance lexicon, refers to work removed from art circulation due to accidental damage. Founded by artist Elka Krajewska, the Salvage Art Institute provides a refuge for salvaged artwork while offering a platform for confronting the regulation of its financial, aesthetic and social value.
At the core of the exhibition is the first salvage art inventory gifted to the institute, a group of objects related primarily through their “total loss” status. Developed by Krajewska and GSAPP Exhibitions with the participation of AXA Art Insurance Corporation, No Longer Art: Salvage Art Institute engages an actuarial logic that delivers a series of curious reversals. Foremost among these is the annulment of the value of total loss objects. Once a work has been declared a total loss and indemnification has been paid, insured objects are officially considered devoid of value. Left in the limbo of warehouse storage, these objects belong to an odd nether world, no longer alive in terms of the market, gallery or museum system, but often still relatively intact. The survival of salvage art even past its total devaluation confronts our common understanding of where art ends, disturbing the distinction, organization, and separation of art from non-art.
- Review at Slate.
Talk – Damage: No Longer Art: Salvage Art Institute
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery
Image: Koons’ balloon dog sculpture
Courtesy John Reed.