Project 2: “SAI, Untitled: Reanimated Lot”

At what point does a work of art lose its identity and/or its value?  To what extent do the conditions of visibility for a work of art determine its value, and how is that value translated to the ethics of art stewardship, and to the care for materials? SAI, Untitled—a collaboration between Elka Krajewska, artist and President of the Salvage Art Institute, and Christine Mehring, Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History, probes these questions.  This project centers on the modular components of two untitled public sculptures by the artist Buky Schwartz in the UChicago Campus Art Collection and their current storage location known informally as the “art graveyard.”  Consisting of 17 remaining aluminum diamond-plated modules, the sculptures were once on view at varying locations on campus: on land now occupied by the parking garage on 55th Street and Ellis Avenue, in Eero Saarinen’s Woodward Court demolished for construction of the Booth School of Business, and in green spaces adjacent to the Midway.  Today, the modules can be seen just west of the new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, at the corner of East 60th Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue.