Room 4

This group of black and white photographs, occupying the entire room, was made by Anarchitecture, a collective of artists formed in 1974. The group aimed to explore architectural systems in a radical way. Their efforts make us rethink what constitutes architecture by drawing attention to the forgotten spaces and gaps of the urban environment. The results were displayed in the Anarchitecture Show 1974, recreated here. Less an exhibition than a report of the group’s findings, the event was held at 112 Greene Street in New York’s Soho, the living space of Jeffrey Lew, a member of the group. 

All the works in the show were in the same photographic format, 40cm x 50 cm, except those by Richard Nonas and Laurie Anderson who made drawings and Jene Highstein, who made a photo-collage. Everyone else (Gordon Matta-Clark, Tina Girouard, Suzanne Harris, Bernard Kirschenbaum, and Richard Landry) worked on photographs and all the works were installed anonymously. 

Anarchitecture’s activities took the group out into the world, beyond the confines of the gallery space. Matta-Clark said:

The group’s architectural aim was more elusive than doing pieces that would demonstrate an alternative attitude to buildings…We were thinking more about metaphoric voids, gaps, leftover spaces, places that were not developed…for example, the places where you stop to tie your shoelaces, places that are just interruptions in your daily movements.