Office Baroque
Office Baroque
1977 - 2012
audio archive
image not available online
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"The Office Baroque movie was originally filmed on 16 mm and we used this 16mm technology that was available at the time to do the editing, grading, special effects and the sound mix. It was the summer of 1977, and my focus was Gordon Matta-Clark’s Office Baroque project and the creative process behind it, in particular the artist’s approach to exploring, marking and cutting the building. The filmic approach we used was direct and honest but, in terms of the complexity of Gordon’s final intervention, it was also selective and subjective – rather like the experience of visiting the building itself. And although the basic intervention plan for Office Baroque was very simple and clear on paper, Gordon’s interior cuts gave rise to fragmentary images and views that were disorientating in terms of being able to establish a position within the building. During the first screenings of our material in September 1977, and as we’d anticipated during filming, it was evident that the shots lacked ‘cohesion’. A good structural editing solution wasn’t immediately obvious. Most of our images where shot during Gordon’s execution of his work and, with the exception of the images of the roof, there were no general views of the intervention. We therefore planned an additional session, with the aim of being somewhat more objective, coherent and fluid in our approach towards capturing images of the final results of Gordon’s work. We also wanted to take each level of the building into account. In so doing, we hoped that people would watch the film and be able to reconstruct a kind of ‘global’ image, or overview, of the entire structural intervention and of what it was like to be inside Office Baroque. To achieve this, we made a large number of extra wide-angle panoramic views throughout the entire building, and on every level. This was in late 1977, during October and November, and after Gordon had returned to New York. These images, combined with the action shots we’d recorded earlier, worked out very well during editing as we could mix the two different kinds of atmospheres. As Gordon once told me, “nothing is worth documenting if it is not difficult to get.” Thus the ‘un-documentable’ piece was finally documented! Gordon never saw the result. The soundtrack is created by André Stordeur, and was composed directly using video images after the first cut results of the 16 mm film editing. The intention was to create a sound that would mirror the exploration Gordon made by ‘liberating’ space in the building. Also included is an interview with Flor Bex (in Dutch) that situates the ‘avant-garde’ position of Gordon during that particular period and an off line sound fragment in which Gordon explains his intervention (in English). -- -- "

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original title
Office Baroque
year of acquisition
type of object
Audiovisual recording
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Gift of Harold Berg
registration number
1977 - 2012
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Single-channel video, colour, sound, 39 45 s
© Cherica Convents & Roger Steylaerts
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