In 2012, Salvage Art Institute received from AXA Art Insurance Corporation a donation of “salvage,” that is, damaged artworks kept by the insurance company after their total-loss claims have been paid. Accompanying the donation were documents—emails, legal papers, loan forms—tracing the history of each artwork’s path toward total-loss, oftentimes in its entirety, from the first report of damage all the way through to the final declaration of total loss and the transfer of title.
This book reimagines this actuarial process as a narrative, with its own dramatis personae and story beats: the property becomes the protagonist, the damage the inciting incident, the conservation report and valuation the trials and tribulations of the second act, and the resolution of the claim the catharsis bringing the story to its close. To compose this drama, Salvage Art Institute extracted each plot point from the individual documents and collaged them together to create a master narrative. No Longer Art: A Narrative, is the result of that collage process.