Thursday, March 1, 2007

All Hail Matta-Clark

What follows is unadulterated praise, no critique, no analysis:

The current Gordon Matta-Clark retrospective at the Whitney is entirely mind blowing. His architectural manipulations – in public space and in the studio - is socially poignant, poetic, spiritual and funny. And the show installation is fresh, not stodgy. There are free-floating monitors on tables with little stools scattered throughout, there are 16 mm projections, there are sculptures, performance detritus, documents, photographs, and even a blow-up of some writing by the artist with its editing marks.

One of the most moving documents, is a film from Paris, circa 1970. He had received permission to do a cut in a condemned building adjacent to the construction site of what was to become the Centre Georges Pompidou. The film shows the birth of the cone-cut (pieces of wall fall), views from the street, and views from the inside the cone. And all this in Paris thirty years ago! The piece is all the more powerful that it is ephemeral.

What I am inspired by the most, is Matta-Clark’s independence. He really did his own thing. Where did he find that confidence? And what fed his ego to keep going?

Is there any work with this kind of courage being made now?

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