Sunday, August 12, 2018
Gordon Matta-Clark: Experience Becomes the Object Hardcover – September 27, 2016 by Caroline Goodden (Author), Gerry Hovagimyan (Author), Flor Bex (Author), Carlos Navarrete (Author), Gwendolyn Owens (Author), Pedro Donoso (Editor), Harold Berg (Afterword), Gordon Matta-Clark (Artist) (Ediciones Poligrafa)
"Undoing is just as much a democratic right as doing."---Gordon Matta-Clark
This revealing book looks at the groundbreaking work of Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978), whose socially conscious practice blurred the boundaries between contemporary art and architecture. After completing a degree in architecture at Cornell University, Matta-Clark returned to his home city of New York. There he employed the term “anarchitecture,” combining “anarchy” and “architecture,” to describe the site-specific works he initially realized in the South Bronx.
The borough’s many abandoned buildings, the result of economic decline and middle-class flight, served as Matta-Clark’s raw material. His series Cuts dissected these structures, performing an anatomical study of the ravaged urban landscape. Moving from New York to Paris with Conical Intersect, a piece that became emblematic of artistic protest, Matta-Clark applied this same method to a pair of 17th-century row houses slated for demolition as a result of the Centre Pompidou’s construction. This compelling volume grounds Matta-Clark’s practice against the framework of architectural and urban history, stressing his pioneering activist-inspired approach, as well as his contribution to the nascent fields of social practice and relational aesthetics.
Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–78) died at only 35 of pancreatic cancer and has since become a cult figure of late 20th-century art. Trained in architecture at Cornell, he went on to question the field’s conventions in vivid projects―performance and recycling pieces, space and texture works and word games―some of which excised holes into existing buildings or assembled deeds to New York City alleys and curbs. The artist used a variety of media to document his work, including film, video and photography. His work and words, while sophisticated enough to make him an "artist’s artist," and colossal and outgoing enough to draw public attention and affection, were always also grounded in social or political convictions. In the early 1970s, Matta-Clark developed the idea of "anarchitecture," which encompassed his interest in voids, gaps and left-over spaces. Gordon Matta-Clark: Experience Becomes the Object collects five essays and ten individual interviews with various friends and family members of Matta-Clark’s. Together, they outline a biographical profile and offer an analysis of the historical period in which the artist developed his short but successful career. New, never-before-published material and photographs as well as an exclusive link to the documentary Crosswords: Matta-Clark’s Friends by Matias Cardone are also included.