Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitectuur [Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitecture]
M HKA, Antwerp
05 October 2012 - 20 January 2013
GORDON MATTA-CLARK (1943-1978) was an ‘all-round artist’. He called his own work and that of the group that gathered around him 'anarchitecture' (a contraction of anarchy and architecture, which literally means ‘non-architecture’). In addition to performances and interventions, he mainly did spatial works that focused on transience and recycling. He is best known for his cuttings, which were monumental pieces cut out of buildings. His interventions were intended to open up new possibilities, ‘making the notion of the possible elastic’. He (briefly) breathed new life into abandoned buildings and forgotten neighbourhoods. In this way the buildings became metaphors for a different society.
In 1977 he created the masterly Office Baroque in Antwerp. Using chainsaws and electric grinding discs he cut through all the floors of an empty office building near the Steen so that the building was transformed into a bizarre pattern of through-views and spatial figures. A utopian-visionary museum project was generated around the work, and this almost came to fruition. It was with the Gordon Matta-Clark Foundation, an international solidarity movement with the aim of saving this building and the museum project, that the foundations of the M HKA collection were laid. Which is why, when it opened in 1987, the M HKA started off with a Matta-Clark retrospective.
Matta-Clark’s objective in his anarchitecture was to create art far away from museums and the art market. But since transience was an inherent part of his interventions, he documented them and his other experiments in all sorts of ways: in addition to the ‘removals’, drawings and writings, this included film, video and photography, which in the end became museum-based art after all. On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the M HKA is showing the whole of its Matta-Clark ensemble with the recently with the recently acquired films and vintage prints.