Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wandering Plots

Wandering Plots (2005)

Though the Chadwicks’ frank and indulgent conversation in Errant Walker can have pleased few contemporary solicitors, still the family was contacted the following year by Cabinet Magazine and the Queens Museum of Art who were working on an exhibition of Gordon Matta-Clark’s project, Fake Estates, in which the New York artist bought a series of tiny, unoccupiable sites (71 feet by 16 inches, for instance) that had been produced by surveyors’ errors. The proposal was that the Chadwicks might lead the curious public on a tour of four of these sites. Though Blachly and I are not certain of this point, we believe that these institutions may have contacted the family on the strength of a persistent rumor that the Chadwick Estate held significant unseen Matta-Clark material. In any case, they were not disappointed: Gordon had lived in a building owned by a little-known Chelmsford Chadwick, uncle to one of the family’s amateur historians; when Matta-Clark was not forthcoming with his rent, uncle Chelmsford had been forced to appropriate various pieces of the artist’s work. These drawings and sculptures, which were unveiled for the first time on the bus trip—“Wandering Plots: A Grand Tour of Matta-Clark’s Queens”—sustained a radical new reading of the artist’s project, which two of the Chadwicks themselves presented in detail while the bus visited the sites.

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