Conical Intersect—a temporary project that, like other of Matta-Clark's performative interventions, now exists only as video documentation—is a good example of the artist's literal "de-construction" of existing structures to reveal hidden or unexpected urban narratives. This work is a critical commentary on the transformation of a Parisian neighborhood as a new cultural center—the Centre Georges Pompidou—was prompting a gentrification process in the area. Matta-Clark's painstaking perforation of a building about to be demolished is a sculptural and spatial statement, but it also provides a different way of looking at the city, a reminder that he studied architecture before turning to a full-time artistic practice. The artist’s actions, Matta-Clark stated, provide "an alternative vocabulary with which to question the static, inert building environment." His belief in art's social drive and his innovative, experimental approach to urban space and built objects have grown significantly in influence over the last decades.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.