[-empyre-] The Site of Anxieties

G.H. Hovagimyan ghh at thing.net
Tue Jan 15 03:43:54 EST 2008

> The anxieties of site and nonsite evolved even in Smithson's and
> Matta-Clark's lifetimes. It can in fact seem trumped up to think of  
> them
> together. Smithson has a kind of iconic status for Minimalism, both as
> artist and theorist. Matta-Clark could stand for Post-Minimalism, as a
> rebel and a doer. Smithson offers a counter to Modernism's history of
> real and ideal cities, with paeans to the blankness of Sixth Avenue.
> Matta-Clark immerses himself instead in changing residential  
> patterns of
> New York and New Jersey.

Smithson worked within the gallery system. His site/non-site was an  
investigation of a non gallery aesthetic or peripatetic investigation  
of space and displacement.   Matta-Clark was more of a Situationist.  
He was also working within the "art system" that gave him support.   
Both artists proposed alternate ways of seeing and doing. The gallery  
system then was miniscule compared to now. Looking at Smithson and  
Matta-Clark one should be inspired by the intentions of the artists  
and not the conceptual and physical residue of there investigations.  
The logic is this; if one were to work out of Smithson's ideas one  
would be looking to disrupt the  integrity of the art gallery and the  
"virtual" space produced within the gallery and the artwork;  Working  
out of Matta-Clarks intentions would bring us to a utopian aspiration  
for an evolving city and would have as much to do with group actions  
as any individual gesture (such as cutting a building.)

More information about the empyre mailing list