Curated an exhibition of film works of Gordon Matta-Clark at Melbourne’s Arts Centre, 10-24 October 2009, as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival 2009.
The installation featured four works; Open House, Splitting, Bingo Ninths, and Tree Dance, along exploded sketches by Matta-Clark, interpreted as large wall drawings by Tony Garifalakis.
From the accompanying essay:
The four works presented in this exhibition exemplify dual trajectories in Matta-Clark’s practice, both of which can be thought of along the lines of intervention or interruption: the first in terms of the existing built environment, and its surfaces, and the second in terms of social flow and interaction.
Gordon Matta-Clark: Open House
Experience the work of an artist ahead of his time – one whose commitment to sustainability and social contact appears increasingly vital today
Gordon Matta-Clark was an American artist who rose to prominence in the early 1970s, having developed a complex practice that encompassed architectural intervention, photography, film, installation, performance and social interactions.
Despite his early death at 35, he has emerged as one of the most influential contemporary artists of the post-minimalist generation. Open House presents a suite of Matta-Clark film works that engage with the home. His radical and striking alterations of empty suburban houses highlighted the rapidly dissolving American Dream.
Together with these works of ‘deconstruction’ are his works of fancy, where unexpected objects – a tree or a rubbish skip – become dwellings or convivial spaces. Part performance, part sculpture, these works illustrate Matta-Clark’s theories of ‘anarchitecture’, and are a fascinating insight to his expansive practice, one which questions the role of the artist, the institution, and even the art object itself.
Ray Edgar, “Beyond the facade”, The Age, 2 October 2009. link
Robert Nelson, “The Artistic Abode: designed to entertain and threaten”, The Age, 15 October 2009. link
Megan Backhouse, “Domestic Tales”, Art Guide, Jan-Feb 2010. link
“Seen the art? Tell the world!”, The Age, 19 November 2009. link
Photo: Gordon Matta-Clark, Program Two (1971-72), courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York