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Collection > Gordon Matta-Clark >

Office Baroque

1977

  • Medium

    Parquet wood flooring, drywall, and wood with Cibachrome print on Masonite

  • Dimensions

    Photo: 30 x 20 in. (76.2 x 50.8 cm)Floor: 15 3/4 x 59 x 90 1/2 in. (40 x 149.9 x 229.9 cm)

  • Credit

    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
    Gift of Blake Byrne

  • Accession number

    2004.166A-C

  • Object label

    Gordon Matta-Clark’s work paradoxically ties creation to destruction in two significant ways. First, his sculptural “building cuts” were acts of removal, or “unbuilding.” Office Baroque consisted of a series of large overlapping, semi-circular cuts through the floors and roof of a five-story office building in Antwerp, Belgium. Second, Matta-Clark pointedly executed his cuts in buildings that were abandoned or slated for demolition. This was central to his critique of the politics of urban renewal. Since Office Baroque dissected a building that was later razed, it only exists today in the form of surviving fragments and documentation: a teardrop shaped slice of parquet wood flooring, support beams, and drywall, and a photograph providing a view through the successive holes. The objects on display are substitutes for the actual though destroyed artwork as well as a reminder of the forces of gentrification that would ultimately demolish the site of Office Baroque.