Art Disposal Service, #2

A few months ago I posted about an art disposal service created in the 1960s by artist John Manno. Turns out that art disposal services are a recurring theme in the art world, because another one was created in the 1990s by Thomas O’Day who (evidently unaware of the earlier one) billed it as the world’s first.

Some details from the LA Times (Feb 3, 1995):

When asked by a college art gallery in Spokane to do an exhibit, O’Day instead suggested that he bury some of his artwork near the gallery with the plan to dig it up 20 years later.
“I didn’t want to show the work,” he said. “The idea of burying it allowed the work to still be around and go through a process. The first law of conservation is: ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’”
That burial would eventually lead O’Day to establish the “Waste to Energy to Waste Project: The World’s First Art Disposal Service.” Any artist wishing to dispose of art can employ his service, which uses a variety of means, including burial and explosives, to eradicate the work or transform it into another form.”

More details (including a video) at O'Day's site.

Some of his other artistic endeavors similarly involved the destruction of art, such as Flambé, “a 1990 performance in which, while a waiter flambéd a stew for a formal dinner party, O’Day flambéd one of his drawings.” And ik-splod, “1992, staged at a private airstrip in Ione, Wash. O’Day commissioned an explosives expert to blow up 50 of his pieces, dating from 1979 to 1992.”

Seems to me that O'Day can be categorized as part of the Destructivist Art Movement.
     Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 24, 2019
     Category: Art | 1990s

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