Jacks, Gordon Matta-Clark
Gordon Matta-Clark
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Gordon Matta-Clark

Jacks, 1971

51 x 99 cm
Physical Description
Photocollage, contact prints
Inventory Number
DZF 188b
Collection DZ BANK at the Städel Museum
Not on display


About the Work

The contact print sequence of photos showing the layers of junk under Brooklyn Bridge looks like the seat of a disease. Almost a decade after the death of Gordon Matta-Clark, Peter Greenaway made the film 'The Belly of an Architect', a psychoanalytically enigmatic analogy to the physical and social decline of its main character, the curator of an exhibition of the sketches of the French Revolution's master builder, Étienne-Louis Boullée. The latter's spherical cenotaph for physicist Isaac Newton appears (à propos belly) again and again as an optical quotation. An intriguing parallel springs to mind in the case of Gordon Matta-Clark. Before he died of cancer in 1978 at the age of only thirty-five, he performed operative procedures on the architecture of condemned urban houses and squares due to be demolished. He used chain saws and drills as surgical instruments to cut through the walls and ceilings. The action under the bridge is the deconstructive anticipation of the conceptual incisions. After the demolition of the buildings, these temporary 'interventions' exist only in photographic form.

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