Mobile Monuments

Arch From Sullivan Stock Exchange

"Form ever follows Function"-Louis H. Sullivan

Underneath the structure to the right of the crane is a stone and terracotta arch that was once the grand entrance to the Chicago Stock Exchange, a Chicago School of Architecture masterpiece at LaSalle and Washington. Designed by Louis Sullivan and built in 1893, it was one of many historical buildings demolished in the 70's. This arch from the building was given by the City of Chicago to the Art Institute.

Re-presented by the Institute, the arch performed an astonishing transformation from architectural fragment to complete public sculpture when it was installed at the east entrance to the Institute in 1977. It is marked with the date construction began on the Stock Exchange.

During our tango intervention at the construction site of the Institute's new Modern wing the Arch was covered with scaffolding and a cloth skin proclaiming the great names of Modernism. Thus Sullivan's work made a further transformation from sculpture to billboard. For the purposes of our brief action it was again transformed; this time into a stage set.

The choreography of our action was augmented by the passage of a large manned lift crane, the operator of which informed us that he would also be dancing after his work shift.

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For more information on the history of the Arch of the Sullivan Stock Exchange please refer to following external sites: