The Museum Of Broken Art


Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan profiles the Salvage Art Institute, which reclaims art that insurance companies have declared a total loss:

The art world, with its attendant auction earnings, valuations, and market fluctuations, is like a living organism. And when an insurer like AXA declares a work a total loss, it effectively kills it in the greater market. But, as AXA president and CEO Christiane Fischer asked in a recent discussion on the exhibit, does removing a piece of art from the art market also void its status as art? "As an object, this work still represents part of our cultural history," she argues. "Just imagine all the damaged art from Roman and Greek times. The Met would be completely empty." …

The canon of Modern Art recognizes artists who have turned trash into art, but the cannibal hunger of the market reverses that logic when a work of art becomes trash. "[I’ve] become absorbed in trying to articulate my thoughts around these cadavers, the material that lives in limbo, in secret, as invisible, petrified "art-no-longer" that is scrupulously databased and stored all around the country, all over the world perhaps," [Elka Krajewska, founder of the Salvage Art Institute] writes.

(Image: A partially crushed Jeff Koons Balloon Dog sculpture from 2005, courtesy of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery. The exhibition, No Longer Art, was designed by Elka Krajewska, Mark Wasiuta and Adam Bandler and curated by Elka Krajewska and Mark Wasiuta.)