After further examining Felix Schramm's destruction-esque installations (pictured in previous post) I was turned onto Gordon Matta-Clark, often cited as one of Schramm's influences. Matta-Clark was an American architect turned artist best known for the site-specific artworks he made in the 1970s. He is famous for his "building cuts," a series of works in abandoned buildings in which he variously removed sections of floors, ceilings, and walls to create an experience that would alter the perception of the building and its surrounding environment.
For more traditional gallery settings, he would strategically install portions of cut up buildings in the gallery space, which, to me, come across as quite contemporary and particularly appealing, even today. But these types of installations are much more controlled and don't quite realize what Gordon Matta-Clark was trying to accomplish with his work. The fleeting and temporal nature of his most ambitious projects better communicate his "anarchitecture" ideals.
Matta-Clark once said that his work was ‘about making space without building it.’ I like this idea, and I appreciate the way he went about achieving it. Sort of. I guess you could say I have mixed feelings. I want to really like his massive demolitions of derelict buildings. It all really appeals to me aesthetically, but I can't help but wonder what would've become of his work had he not died of cancer at the young age of 35. I feel that, had he been able to continue working, he would've fallen into the same sort of trap as Le Corbusier and the other architects and ideals he so strongly opposed. You can't be a rebel forever. Either you get caught or people end up loving you, which means you're no longer against the norm. Luckily for him, Matta-Clark's career (and life) was as transient as his artworks, and so we can go on praising him for what he did best.
Gordon Matta-Clark has paved the way for artists such as Robert Wilson, who like Matta-Clark is addressing various architectural concerns in his work. The public art piece by Wilson, shown below, has been described as his "most radical intervention into architecture to date."
read more about Gordon Matta-Clark here and here