Gordon Matta-Clark: Physical Poetics

Gordon Matta-Clark: Physical Poetics

by Frances Richard

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Overview

Bringing a poet’s perspective to an artist’s archive, this highly original book examines wordplay in the art and thought of American artist Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978). A pivotal figure in the postminimalist generation who was also the son of a prominent Surrealist, Matta-Clark was a leader in the downtown artists' community in New York in the 1970s, and is widely seen as a pioneer of what has come to be known as social practice art. He is celebrated for his “anarchitectural” environments and performances, and the films, photographs, drawings, and sculptural fragments with which his site-specific work was documented.
In studies of his career, the artist’s provocative and vivid language is referenced constantly. Yet the verbal aspect of his practice has not previously been examined in its own right. Blending close readings of Matta-Clark’s visual and verbal creations with reception history and critical biography, this extensively researched study engages with the linguistic and semiotic forms in Matta-Clark’s art, forms that activate what he called the “poetics of psycho-locus” and “total (semiotic) system.” Examining notes, statements, titles, letters, and interviews in light of what they reveal about his work at large, Frances Richard unearths archival, biographical, and historical information, linking Matta-Clark to Conceptualist peers and Surrealist and Dada forebears. Gordon Matta-Clark: Physical Poetics explores the paradoxical durability of Matta-Clark’s language, and its role in an aggressively physical oeuvre whose major works have been destroyed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520299092
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 771,267
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Frances Richard is the author of three books of poetry, coauthor of Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Fake Estates,” and editor of Joan Jonas is on our mind and I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School. She teaches at the California College of the Arts.

Table of Contents

Introduction. CONFUSION GUIDED BY A CLEAR SENSE OF PURPOSE; or, a comet, which would have its tail in front

PART ONE. TOTAL (SEMIOTIC) SYSTEM: READING GORDON MATTA-CLARK
“Total (Semiotic) System”
Walking and Reading
WORKING AT SEVERAL DIMENTIONS
“A step taken in the fog”
“Kool Killer, or the Insurrection of Signs”

PART TWO. ANARCHITECTURE AS POETIC DEVICE: GORDON MATTA-CLARK AND THE SOHO CONVERSATION
Anarchitecture as Poetic Device
“The Poetics of Psycho-Locus”
AVAILABLE
“Metaphoric Void”
Arche and the Alpha Privative
"Ambiguity Is All”
Art World Prince
BEST LATED WISHES
Of Trees, Burial, Cooking, and Cannibalism
“Another name more or less the same”
Venn Diagram
To THE MEETING and THE MOB (AGAIN)
MAKING NOT SOLVING PROBLEMS
The Irrational Village and the Non-u-ment
Un-monumentalizing Conversation
Monument, Non-u-ment, and Site/Non-site
Smithson Coda: The Islands
Quadrille, Walls paper, et al.
Fake Estates
LAYERED REALITY, Thin Edge, and Space Between
“Been Gone”: Notes on the Index
Cut/Draw/Write
Immune versus Cancer Cells

PART THREE. A SILENT FORCE: THE LEGACIES OF MATTA AND DUCHAMP
DEMENTIONS
“A Silent Force”
Matta and Pajarito: “Psychological Morphology” and Réalité parallèle
Noguchi
“Jestures”
Étant . . .
Anartist and Anarchitecture

Inframince
and Thin Edge
Bullet Holes
Phenomena of
Infra-
Readymade and Ready-to-be-unmade
The Alchemical Pun

PART FOUR. SPACISM: GORDON MATTA-CLARK AND THE POLITICAL
“We chose to build a world of our own”
“My understanding of art . . .” and THE JOY OF GETTING AWAY WITH IT SPACISM
“I woundered who it is for . . .”
Chile and the Bienal de São Paulo
Window Blow-Out
Arc de Triomphe for Workers
A Resource Center and Environmental Youth Program for Loisaida
THE VOYEURIST'S SPACE
Violent Space, SECURITY MEASURES, and THE SIGN POST ANARCHIE
The Money Photographs
Cornell ’69
“Gordon Matta-Clark and
Individualism”
“A fine-tuned language and logic of the body”

Conclusion. “WITHIN ABSURDITY THERE IS A FANTASTIC FREEDOM”

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Notes
List of Illustrations

Index

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