‘Fake’ Estates

avril 23, 2012


Gordon Matta-Clark, Reality Properties: Fake Estates, 1973-74

Uranculturalstudies’ recent post, « Deconstructing Reality: Gordon Matta-Clark » highlighting Matta-Clark’s well known body of work ‘building cuts’ (architectural interventions consisting of the strategic removal of building parts) got me thinking about Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates. In 1973 and 1974, Gordon Matta-Clark purchased, at New York City auctions, fifteen « gutterspace » properties – unusually small slivers of land from the city through anomalies in surveying, zoning and public works expansion. The fifteen properties were scattered throughout Queens with one located on Staten Island.

The properties are fragments of the city grid, patchy pieces of land that remained after the city was mapped out and land use designated. The left over spaces were along curbs, between houses, even inside a building. They were available to Matta-Clark because their location or size made them virtually unusable for any form of commercial real estate development – nothing could be…

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