He scandalised New York in his brief and controversial career. Now the work of GORDON MATl'A-CLARK is making a rare British appearance. Words: Helen Monaghan

nly photographic and filmic documentation

remains of Splitting. one of Gordon Matta-Clark‘s

most famous works. In I974. the American artist took an ordinary suburban house due for demolition and quite literally split the building in two. Dividing the house into two halves with a vertical cut. he hoisted it up from its foundations producing a split of around five degrees. Provoking many irate reactions. Matta-Clark said in an interview in 1977 that architects accused him of ‘violating the sanctity and dignity of abandoned buildings by interrupting their natural transition to decay or demolition'. One architect went further to say that what .‘vlatta-Clark did was ‘out-and-out rape‘.

But the New Yorker was no stranger to controversy. In his short but prolific career (he died of cancer in 1978 at the age of 35). through architectural interventions. photography. film. performance. writing and sculpture. he sought to make people more aware of their own surroundings. Studying architecture for two years at Cornell. Malta-Clark spoke out against the rise of modemism in pieces such as Splitting. In l97()s New York. decaying buildings were seen as structures to be removed for new urban planning. Matia- Clark however. with his form of ‘anarchitecture‘. chose to focus on existing structures in neglected areas in an attempt to reveal societal problems.

One piece in particular. and perhaps his most notorious work. Windmv Blow Out ( I976). caused a massive scandal at the time. He was invited to make a piece at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies and initially planned to knock out windows that were cracked. Instead. he shot out

76 THE LIST 16— 30 Jan 2003

One architect said what Matta-Clark did was ‘out-and- outrape’

Anareiteeure in th


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.g _.. i ma, . L-R: Food Restaurant, Aug 1971-Jun 1972; Walls, 1972; Garbage Wall, 1970

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all the windows of the building using an air rifle. Then. in each bay of the broken windows. he placed mounted photographs taken of buildings in the South Bronx. themselves with smashed windows.

"I‘here were so many strands to his practice but one important strand was that in the city of New York there was massive expansion.‘ says the exhibition‘s curator. Lisa le lieuvre. ‘There were loads of buildings going up. but you only had to go to the South Bronx to see something completely different. He was interested in looking at the ways cities developed at different speeds and the effect that architecture had on social relations.‘

Since much of Matter-Clark's work exists only in documentation. exhibitions of his work are rare. TIM Spur-c Between. which opens at the CCA in Glasgow. is the first Scottish showing of his work. "l'he CCA is a really amazing building and one of the reasons why I was so keen to do it here was because they have this programme of live art. film. performance and visual art and I think this really encompasses Malta-Clark’s work.‘ says I.e lieuvre.

That said. the foyer will house a number of artist‘s books and a reconstruction of (Jar/mgr ll’il/l. Malta-Clark's prototype for homeless people to build their own homes from urban detritus. Moving towards the restaurant space. there will be photographs and Iilm from l'imd. an artist-run restaurant that he set up in 1971. For one day only. the cafe will be cooking up a menu inspired by Fund. Then. in the main galleries spaces. there will be more photographic works. films and drawings documenting works such as Splitting and .S'ulmruit. a film that revealed the variety and complexity of the underground spaces and tunnels in New York.

‘Matta-Clark made you think about urban space in a completely different way.‘ says l.e lieuvre. ‘He took you on a journey through and underneath the city and that‘s more of less how you‘re going to travel through the exhibition.‘

Gordon Matta-Clark: The Space Between opens at the CCA, Glasgow from Sat 25 Janéun 23 Mar.


News from the world of art

GLASGOW’S CCA HAS commissioned new site- specific work by J’, alias Jim Buckley and Jim Hamlyn. The first in a series of interventions planned for the building, the artists have created mean, a sandstone coloured neon installation based on the three letter acronym CCA which will be displayed in the three windows facing onto Sauchiehall Street.

Get ready for :neon at the CCA

AN UNOI I ICIAl COMI’I IIIION open to err'<:h:te(:t5;. sturrev‘ft; {It‘tl the general oumc has; been Izurrreheo to 'ook at reitlgrc r}; the l)LlI|(II!T(}E3 that were devastated by I (irhhtrrrrri's; Co‘s/gate South Bridge he. Set up hy designer Dan I r‘,'<i"‘zir‘ (.I |h<llgo Merlin (il‘fl architect Ariria'i \fv/etc’“ eI trizntnngh ()ontemi)erary Architecttrr-ir. the speculate/e (:orripetihort offers; [Ml/(2'53 trimming} {i vngh’. ‘1)! tx'te m the Baimoral I Iotel to" the runner of the l)1ll}lt(2 I (EUTIIMCK pit/e tutti E‘f>i)() .vov’th o” portfoiro ‘.'.’(}l}fSlI(} for the St-..<:er‘t Desngn tin/e. I‘ you eon". .'."£i'i'. to take our: I."T'1(3(:()t“l2€31fti)'t. you car: iea‘xe zr suggestmr as; what you ‘.'.Io..~i:i i:ke 2:; see happen to the zr"ezr I (2' more mtornrzitror‘ 'og o'ito \’-/‘."/‘.'.’.(}(l!7tl);lt§;?izirCltIiUCiJOCK}. UK or \.'./\.'.".'.'.s;}..m WITH MORE AND MORE young artists finding it difficult to get an exhibition, Edinburgh College of Art graduates Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth have set up a new artist-run project called Magnifitat & Sons. Thanks to funding from the Mark Scott Foundation, Magnifitat will be presenting new work by young artists in a flat in Bruntsfield as part of Novotel on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January and then Friday 20 January. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, email or call 0131 229 9506.

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