Gordon Matta-Clark & Rirkrit Tiravanija Press Release
March 21—May 5, 2007
Opening on March 21, 2007, David Zwirner and Gavin Brown's enterprise are pleased to co-present an exhibition by Gordon Matta-Clark and Rirkrit Tiravanija, to be displayed in David Zwirner's 519 W. 19th Street gallery. The show will include one seminal work by each artist, both of which focus on the transformation of space in the area of 89 & 112 Greene Street in SoHo–Matta-Clark's in 1972 and Tiravanija's in 1992.
Gordon Matta-Clark, a key figure in the activity and growth of the New York art world from the late 1960s until his death in August, 1978, was heavily inspired by the dematerialization movement of the late 1960s. Perhaps best known for his architectural "cuttings"–sculptures made from slices of buildings slated for demolition–Matta-Clark was co-founder of FOOD in 1971, a functioning restaurant that employed artists and hosted art/food performances. He also helped Jeffrey Lew establish 112 Greene Street (now White Columns), the first alternative gallery in New York with an open exhibition program. Matta-Clark is currently the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, on view through June 3, 2007. The exhibition will then travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA from September 16, 2007 through January 7, 2008.
Featured in this exhibition will be a recreation of Open House, 1972, a work that, like much of Matta-Clark's oeuvre, applies new meaning to abandoned and commonplace materials through the act of recycling. Originally located in the street outside 89 Greene Street (a second version was later installed outside 112 Greene Street), the dumpster held architectural fragments and construction-site detritus and was featured in Matta-Clark's film of the same year, also titled Open House. In the film, the dumpster is converted into a makeshift living environment for the homeless. Made to function (physically and conceptually) outside of the commercial gallery system, and thus a critique of the value of art and commercial real estate, Open House represents Matta-Clark's career-long desire to create a new way of seeing through the transformation of discarded objects into new works of art.
Rirkrit Tiravanija's Untitled 1992 (Free), was originally exhibited at 89 Greene Street in the former 303 Gallery space in 1992. 303 Gallery was on the second floor at 89 Greene Street, just a few feet from Matta-Clark's Open House site. In that exhibition, Tiravanija took the contents of the entire gallery–kitchen, storeroom, bathroom and office–and publicly deposited/displayed them in the main gallery space. In what had been the gallery office, he set up a provisional kitchen where Thai curry was cooked and served to visitors. Taking his historical cues not only from distinctly non-Western Thai traditions, but also from Alan Kaprow, Michael Asher, and Matta-Clark, Tiravanija’s seminal exhibition helped create a pivitol moment of rupture from the wealth and abundance of the previous decade. For this exhibition, Tiravanija will make a ghost of the 89 Greene Street space in plywood. The kitchen–which will include the same stools, tables, cookers, pots, pans, and refrigerator, along with the same 15-year old food waste–will be used and shown in what will be the "office." Untitled 1992 (Free) will be exhibited for the first time in New York since 1992.