Partially Buried Woodshed

Robert Smithson
1970
Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA
Woodshed and twenty truckloads of earth
18 x 10 x 45 ft. (5.5 x 3 x 13.7 m)

This work fulfilled Smithson’s long-held desire to bury a building and allow for its decomposition. The abandoned woodshed was already in existence on the Kent State campus in Ohio. 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.

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