CCA presents Absent Wall: Recalling Gordon Matta-Clark’s Garbage Wall 1970

This installation runs in conjunction with the exhibit out of the box: price rossi stirling + matta-clark from May 6 to September 6, 2004 in the CCA Baile Park. This symbolic structure evokes Matta-Clark’s interest in recycling, in leftover spaces and in alternatives to architectural design.On the occasion of the first Earth Day, Gordon Matta-Clark orchestrated an event at Manhattan’s St. Mark’s Church that took place from April 20-23, 1970. Passersby were invited to participate in depositing all kinds of urban debris into a mould, together with plaster and tar. The wall served as a backdrop for various performances that were related to everyday activities. After three days, the Garbage Wall was dismantled and dumped into a container. In May of the following year Matta-Clark produced a smaller version of the wall, which was featured in Fire Child, his first film which is also presented in the exhibition.Although nothing remains of the original Garbage Wall, its power can still be felt in recent copies constructed by exhibition curators for various Matta-Clark retrospectives. With Absent Wall: Recalling Gordon Matta-Clark’s Garbage Wall (1970), CCA has decided not to recreate the lost original using “new” garbage. Instead, this installation pays homage to this playful monument to some of the core issues of 1970s culture.In the 1970s, American artist Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) brough a fresh view to bear upon architecture. Trained as an architect, he chose to make buildings and the spaces around them the subject of compelling and often witty investigations into the nature of cities, property, and the social order. His “sculptures,” produced by interfering with or cutting into the built environment, were documented in photomontages and films. Blurring the boundaries between artist and architectural theorist, Matta-Clark questioned the very concepts of architecture and space, thus challenging the fundamental assumptions of both disciplines. For more information, please visit the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s website at