Outtakes from Claes Chi Bat
Claes Oldenburg's "Batcolumn" sculpture is dedicated on April 14, 1977, outside the newly built Social Security Administration Center at 600 West Madison Street in downtown Chicago. The 100-foot tall steel structure was commissioned for $100,000 as part of the General Services Administration's art-in-architecture program, which aimed to place contemporary American art in and around newly constructed federal buildings. Alexander Caldwell's "Flamingo" outside the Federal Building at 230 South Dearborn Street was the first sculpture erected in Chicago as part of the program.
The beginning of the film features artist Claes Oldenburg at a reception featuring some of his two-dimensional art. Party-goers mingle and chat as Oldenburg participates in conversations with several different people. There is a close-up shot of a sketch of Alexander Caldwell's "Flamingo" sculpture as well as Oldenburg's "Plug" sculpture. The camera then focuses on a three-piece ball, bat, and glove commemorative set given out as a party favor at the dedication.
The next scene shows the dedication ceremony, held outside the Social Security Administration Center. Speakers and dignitaries in attendance include Second Lady Joan Mondale, interim Chicago Mayor Michael Anthony Bilandic, and Michael Straight, Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. There is a shot of the Batcolumn, and then the camera returns to the speakers assembled at the front of the Social Security Administration Center.