Works 03: Bingo

Bingo, 1974 (also called Bingo X Ninths, Bingone X Ninths, Bin.go.ne, Bingo.ne by Ninths and Days, and BeenGone by Ninth) 349 Erie Avenue, Niagara Falls, New York

He had spent the Summer searching through the Bronx and Brooklyn for houses to be demolished or that were abandoned and then he would cut out pieces of the walls, floors, doors, windows. He was thrilled with the layers of linoleum and the architectural sections that he could present 3-D. The floor cuts grew into wall cuts and the wall cuts grew into whole sides of buildings such as the Artpark piece [Bingo].

Caroline Yorke Goodden

interview with Joan Simon, printed in Mary Jane Jacobs, Gordon Matta- Clark: A Retrospective, exhib. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 1985

Following from Matta-Clark’s previous work Splitting, Bingo again works with a typical suburban American house. Having only ten days before the scheduled demolition, Matta-Clark created a work based on the division of one side of the house into nine equal sections, measuring 2 by 3 metres. These segments were removed one by one, apart from the centre section which was left in place.

The title Bingo derived from what Matta-Clark believed was a typical American church function, which he felt was probably common in Niagara Falls, a typical small American town populated with houses like the one he cut. The gridded game card and the process of filling the squares with numbers in the course of play found its obverse as Matta-Clark removed elements from the grid he had inscribed on the side of the building.

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