No Longer Art: Salvage Art Institute

April 23 – July 10, 2015

Drawn from the art insurance lexicon, the term “salvage art” refers to works removed from art circulation due to accidental damage. Salvage pieces are subject to a peculiar and transformative actuarial logic. Once “total loss” status has been declared and indemnification has been paid, salvage art is considered officially devoid of value. Its objects are cast into art’s nether world, no longer alive for the market, gallery, or museum system, but often still relatively intact. Salvage art is liberated from the burden of constant valuation and the obligation of exchange, yet abandoned to the invisibility of perpetual storage.

Founded by Elka Krajewska, the Salvage Art Institute (SAI) supplies a refuge for salvaged art pieces. 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. The SAI offers a platform for exposing, viewing, and encountering the condition of salvage art and provides a forum for engaging the regulation of its financial, aesthetic, and social value.

The Salvage Art Institute’s mandate is to maintain the separation of value from its no longer art inventory. No Longer Art: Salvage Art Institutefollowed this objective, simultaneously opening the inventory to scrutiny while attempting to momentarily suspend the force of attraction between its objects and value.

No Longer Art: Salvage Art Institute was produced by GSAPP Exhibitions, Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia University, and the Salvage Art Institute. Curated by Elka Krajewska and Mark Wasiuta. Exhibition design by Adam Bandler, Elka Krajewska, and Mark Wasiuta. Graphic design by MTWTF. The exhibition was developed with the participation of AXA Art Insurance Corporation. Presented in partnership with the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, with additional support from the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory.