70 Years of Berliner Festspiele

The Wall

Gordon Matta-Clark, Berliner Festwochen 1976
1976/2007 / Colour
Director: Gordon Matta-Clark
Music: Peter Gordon

Action as part of New York - Downtown Manhattan: SoHo. Exhibition, theater, music, performance, video of Akademie der Künste and Berliner Festwochen 1976

The radical transformation of space – with this objective in mind, Gordon Matta-Clark splitted buildings and abandoned houses from the 1970s onwards and broke down the boundaries between architecture and public space. The conceptual artist came to Berlin in 1976 with the intention of blowing up a section of the Berlin Wall.

A man inscribes the words "FROM USSR with LO ..." on a large-scale outdoor advertising. He is standing on a ladder.

Gordon Matta-Clark, “The Wall”, Berliner Festwochen 1976/2007. Film, colour, sound. Film still

© Gordon Matta-Clark | Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

  • 15 min

Blowing up the Berlin Wall with dynamite. This, no more and no less, is what the conceptual artist Gordon Matta-Clark planned to do in his contribution to the exhibition and programme series “SoHo in Berlin” organised in 1976 by the Akademie der Künste and the Berliner Festwochen. Lengthy and well-intentioned persuasion by his friends then dissuaded him from going through with this risky undertaking. However, it did result in a special and highly expressive performance, complete with an id check by the West Berlin police – luckily captured on Super8.

© Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York