This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

12Oct/20

AROUND DAY’S END: A CONVERSATION

Architectural model for David Hammons’s Day’s End sits outside related exhibition at the Whitney (Catherine Seavitt and Rennie Jones of Guy Nordenson and Associates, 2017 / photograph by Ron Amstutz)

Who: Elena Filipovic, Frances Richard, Judith Rodenbeck, Randal Wilcox, Laura Phipps
What: Online discussion about “Around Day’s End: Downtown New York 1970-1986” exhibition
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art Zoom
When: Thursday, October 15, free with advance RSVP, 6:00
Why: In 1975, land artist and anarchitecture specialist Gordon Matta-Clark deconstructed an abandoned industrial building on Pier 52 on the Manhattan riverfront, cutting into the walls, doors, and floors and turning it into a unique kind of performance art piece, at least until the police shut it down and arrested him. You can watch Matta-Clark’s twenty-three-minute silent film about the project, which he called a “temple to sun and water,” here. American artist David Hammons is revisiting Matta-Clark’s intervention, known as Day’s End, by constructing his own version on the same site for the Whitney, which is right across the street. It is expected to be completed in December; in the meantime, the Whitney is presenting “Around Day’s End: Downtown New York 1970-1986,” a small show in the first-floor gallery that explores art depicting the waterfront area at the time, when it was known as a gay cruising hotspot. Among the photographs, drawings, sculpture, video, and paintings in the exhibition, which continues through November 1, are Dawoud Bey’s David Hammons, Pissed Off performance photos, Christo’s Package on Hand Truck, Joan Jonas’s Songdelay video, Martha Rosler’s The Bowery photo and text series, David Wojnarowicz and Kiki Smith’s Untitled (Psychiatric Clinic: Department of Hospitals), Anton van Dalen’s Street Woman on Car, Peter Hujar’s Canal Street Piers: Fake Men on the Stairs, and Carol Goodden’s documentation of Matta-Clark’s Jacks, in addition to works by Alvin Baltrop, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jimmy Wright, and G. Peter Jemison and a vitrine of proposed projects for Pier 18 from Mel Bochner, Robert Morris, William Wegman, Richard Serra, Harry Shunk, János Kender, and Matta-Clark.

On October 15 at 6:00, the Whitney is hosting a virtual discussion about the exhibit, focusing on Baltrop, Hammons, Jonas, and Matta-Clark, with Elena Filipovic, author of David Hammons: Bliz-aard Ball Sale; Frances Richard, author of Gordon Matta-Clark: Physical Poetics; Judith Rodenbeck, associate professor and chair of media & cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside; and Randal Wilcox, who worked with Baltrop and is a trustee of the Alvin Baltrop Trust. The free Zoom talk will be moderated by assistant curator Laura Phipps, who organized the show with senior curatorial assistant Christie Mitchell.

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