"Undoing is just as much a democratic right as doing."---Gordon Matta-Clark This revealing book looks at the groundbreaking work of Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978), whose socially conscious practice blurred the boundaries between contemporary art and architecture.
After completing a degree in architecture at Cornell University, Matta-Clark returned to his home city of New York.
There he employed the term "anarchitecture," combining "anarchy" and "architecture," to describe the site-specific works he initially realized in the South Bronx. The borough's many abandoned buildings, the result of economic decline and middle-class flight, served as Matta-Clark's raw material.
His series Cuts dissected these structures, performing an anatomical study of the ravaged urban landscape.
Moving from New York to Paris with Conical Intersect, a piece that became emblematic of artistic protest, Matta-Clark applied this same method to a pair of 17th-century row houses slated for demolition as a result of the Centre Pompidou's construction.
This compelling volume grounds Matta-Clark's practice against the framework of architectural and urban history, stressing his pioneering activist-inspired approach, as well as his contribution to the nascent fields of social practice and relational aesthetics.