Robert Smithson, Partially Buried Woodshed (1970)
Marker on black and white photograph
10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
© Holt/Smithson Foundation/licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York
This work fulfilled Smithson’s long-held desire to bury a building and allow for its decomposition. The old woodshed was already in existence on the Kent State campus - Smithson piled earth atop the structure until the center beam cracked. After the infamous shooting of unarmed student protestors by the National Guard, someone anonymously painted “MAY 4 KENT 70” on a horizontal beam in commemoration. The structure was partially burned down in 1978, causing further collapse. At present, all that remains of the piece is the concrete foundation and a large mound of dirt.