Office Baroque


Invited by the ICC to come and do something in Antwerp, Matta-Clark reacted enthusiastically. In his first response, he asks only for a ‘spot’ – the rest he would see to. In his letter to Flor Bex from July 28, 1976, he wonderfully summarizes the approach and commitment of anarchitecture: ‘My approach consists of working with everything possible, and thus our idea of making the possible elastic. I use the urban fabric in its raw, abandoned state and transform unused structures or spaces into revitalized places. The actual space in its final state is the ‘exhibition’, and hopefully it will lead its own life in the community.

And so it happened: from amongst several proposals, Matta-Clark opted for an empty office-building on the Ernest van Dijkkaai, because of its central location right on the main tourist route. After having worked for years in America’s back streets and rundown areas of the its cities and suburbs, in Europe he finally gets a chance (in Paris and in Antwerp) to go to work and make his mark in the heart of the city, so that his ‘performance’ (the making of his building cuts) may be all the more visible.

Know more? Click here for more information about the history of the project, the progress of the project and the demolition.

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