Office Baroque

  • Date: 
  • Edition/serial number: 
  • Media description: 
    16 mm film transferred to video (Digital Betacam and DVD)
  • Duration: 
    44 min.
  • Colour: 
  • Sound: 
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Image credit: 
    Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York (

Office Baroque (1977/2005) is part of a series of works carried out in Europe and, in this case, it was not the artist who happened upon the derelict urban space, but rather a commission. As part of the activities organised by the city of Antwerp to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, Gordon Matta-Clark was invited to carry out one of his cuts on a five-story commercial building in the city that belonged to a company that had gone bankrupt. The property was located in one of the most visible and touristy parts of the city, opposite the Het Steen Castle. Like most of his works, it was designed to be seen both from the inside and from the outside and the project involved removing a quarter sphere from the corner of the building so it could be seen through. However, the municipal authorities prohibited the intervention when they came to know the details of the project; thus, Matta-Clark had to limit himself to working on the inside of the building. Instead of limiting his interest in the work, this allowed the artist to give it a different and enriching focus compared to previous projects. The different cuts draw a mental map of labyrinthine lines and spaces that are interconnected between the five floors, as if the building had been equipped with a new nervous system.

Lola Hinojosa