Conical Intersect

Gordon Matta-Clark, American, 1943 - 1978

Made in Paris, France, Europe


16mm film, color, silent

Duration: 18 minutes 40 seconds

© Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Contemporary Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Joseph E. Temple Fund, 2005

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This cutting, Matta-Clark's project for the Paris Biennale of 1975, utilized two adjacent town houses (27-29 Rue Beaubourg, Paris) that were built in 1699 for a Mr. and Mrs. Leiseville, perhaps as "his and hers" residences. The structures were located in the Les Halles district, at that time controversially being cleared for modernization. The houses, which the artist dubbed the "old couple," stood in contrast to the technologically advanced but unfinished metal structure that would become the Centre Pompidou. Specifically inspired by Anthony McCall's film Line Describing a Cone (1973), Matta-Clark's cutting resembled a large twisting cone: the massive circular opening on the north wall spiraled through the walls, doors, and out the attic roof of the adjacent home, getting smaller and smaller as it wove through space. Upon the completion of the project, the authorities bricked up the entrance; Matta-Clark, however, gained access to finish this film, which documents every stage of this incredible undertaking.