Early Monthly Segments

#37 = 3/19/12 = 3rd Anniversary = Gordon Matta-Clark

Day's End

We’re excited to celebrate three years of programming with a special program devoted to the films of Gordon Matta-Clark. Our longtime fans may have spotted a brief glimpse of Matta-Clark’s Conical Intersect in the first film we showed in March 2009: Kidlat Tahimik’s Perfumed Nightmare. Tonight brings us full-circle, if you will.

Like his peer Robert Smithson, who also died too young, Matta-Clark’s films bring his ideas, performances and anti-architecture antics to vivid life in a way that moves beyond mere documentation. Diagrams, writings and photographs of his work have long preserved him as a pivot point in late 20th century contemporary art, but there’s nothing quite like watching the vertiginous lengths Matta-Clark goes to realize his cuttings in luminous live action—watching him hang from ropes as he carves large openings into the walls of Pier 52 is as heart-stopping as it is gorgeous.

Tonight features a quartet that surveys the range of Matta-Clark’s filmic output. Tree Dance documents an early performance inspired by spring fertility rituals, with Matta-Clark moving through a series of cocoons, ladders and ropes hung throughout a very large tree in Poughkeepsie, New York. City Slivers slices up the New York cityscape in-camera, as he creates a series of super-impositions using the city’s dark cavernous streets as mattes. Day’s End documents one of Matta-Clark’s famous cuttings, the above mentioned Pier 52, which he cunningly transformed from a dark warehouse into an “indoor park”—much to the chagrin of both the Port Authority and those that used the dark corners as a cruising spot. Finally, Fresh Kill features Matta-Clark driving his old truck, christened Herman Meydag, to the Fresh Kills dump to be demolished by a bulldozer. Seeing these films again reminds us of the milieu of which Matta-Clark was a part—one is reminded of Bas Jan Ader, Anthony McCall and John Chamberlain, to name just a few—but also of the fervent influence his work still can have on our conceptions of the built landscape in which we live.

NOTE: The screening takes place in the Gladstone’s Ballroom.

City Slivers, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1976, 16mm, USA, 15 min. silent
Tree Dance, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1971, Super 8 on 16mm, USA, 10 min. silent
Fresh Kill, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1972, 16mm, USA, 13 min.
Day’s End, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1975, Super 8 on 16mm, USA, 23 min. silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday March 19, 2012 | 7:30pm screening | $5 – 10 suggested donation

Special thanks to The Gladstone Hotel and Robert Fiore and Persistent Pictures, Jane Crawford, Maia Carpenter and Aliza Ma for her sourcing skills!

Upcoming #38 = April 23 = TBA

Perfumed Nightmare

Gordon Matta-Clark

City Slivers