Return to Discussion List

March 2005 - What Goes Up Must Come Down

Why did it hurt when Gordon Matta-Clark, like a surgeon performing an autopsy, cut into an abandoned house? Why did many people, who would never have looked at that house otherwise, find it a violent and disturbing act?

We attribute a lot to the spaces and structures that we spend most of our lives in. A building, even if it has got nothing to do with us, just by its being there often unconsciously becomes a projection of our inner selves – an outer body that defines the very contours of our world. This aspect of our built environment, as intriguing to architects as children are often to their own parents, and a never ending subject for artistic exploration, will be the focus of our March presentation-discussion session on the 21st, Monday.

For the first time we will be having two visiting artists lead our forum. Based in Houston and New York respectively, Allison Wiese and Art Domantay are both currently Artists-in-Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art. (See:“http://www.mccollcenter.org/nav.cfm?cat=14&subcat=90”:http://www.mccollcenter.org/nav.cfm?cat=14&subcat=90)
Although their work is markedly different in nature, the talk will be based on their common interest in that realm of creativity somewhere between the traditional domains of art and architecture. The working title for the topic is:

What Goes Up Must Come Down A Selective Look at the History of Artists’ “Hands On” Interactions with the Built Environment

“…while allowing that there are careers that limn established boundaries from both sides (Diller and Scofidio’s work could easily exist as “new media installation” in the institutional fine art world) we’re specifically interested in a narrow but lengthy thread of artistic practice that has developed around reactions to the built environment.

How have modern, post-modern and contemporary artists willfully usurped, violated, tampered with, amplified, satirized, celebrated, undermined, perforated, piggy-backed on, transgressed against, toyed with, polished… improved upon or downright destroyed the buildings spaces and places they’ve insinuated their work into?”