Day’s End, Gordon Matta Clark

Day’s End was a monumental architectural “cutting” (Thomspon, 2003) that involved slicing through walls, roofs, floors and foundations of an abandoned pier that was alloted for demolition. At Pier 52, a nine-foot wide trench is hollowed out of the building, cutting through the floor and structure. The transformation is destabilising – the building gains a certain frailty and the action of overpowering large structures with hand tools undercuts their power, weight and stability. On a metaphysical level, the transformation sabotages our assured arrogance in our importance. Day’s End also makes connections between areas of conflict in society and art. As Jeffrey Thompson succintly states in his review of Split Definitive, it is a “social engagement with real world situations to raise awareness of marginalised space and the transformation of base materials into art.”

© Kalpana Gurung

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