By working in 3D, potters are automatically working with “space”. If you have yet to consider the ramifications of that enterprise, this offers a dizzying leap into some of the considerations. I would have dearly loved to have seen some of Matta-Clark’s building cuts in the flesh.



Splitting, 1974. Black and white photo collage by Gordon Matta-Clark

“I don’t know what the word “space” means…I keep using it. But I’m not quite sure what it means.” – Gordon Matta-Clark.

From 1971 until his death in 1978, the American artist Gordon Matta-Clark produced a body of work popularly known the “building cuts”; sculptural transformations of abandoned buildings paradoxically constructed through the cutting and virtual dismantling of a given architectural site. Situated in places ranging from slums in Manhattan to the waterfront of Antwerp, these works, long since destroyed, appear to comply with the most canonical assumptions of site-specific art in the seventies. On the one hand they demonstrate the commonly accepted notion that the place where the artwork is encountered necessarily conditions its reception, foregrounding as they do the the localized dynamics between institutions, property values and works of art. On the other hand Matta-Clark’s cuttings address the temporality of the built environment, marking the destruction of the buildings that effectively constituted such places.
To read the personal testimonials on Matta-Clark’s work is to sense the experimental limitations of these models, for what marks these accounts is a certain failure of description that attends to the dizzying, at times overwhelming, experience of the building cuts; their unsettling shifts in scale, their Piranesiesque irruptions into architectural mass, their vertiginous drops and labyrinthine passages, their gaping holes, each affording the most disorientating vistas.

(Via History of Our World)


~ by russellmoreton on November 23, 2011.

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