Jill Quigley: Inspired by...

Inspired by... Gordon Matta-Clark

In Inspired by... a talented young photographer highlights an image that has inspired them throughout their career. 

Gordon Matta-Clark. “Circus or the Caribbean Orange,” 1978
silver dye bleach print (Cibachrome)

“Circus or The Caribbean Orange,” is the last of Gordon Matta-Clark's building cuts, which were large scale interventions carved into the structure of empty buildings. In this case a series of circular cuts create voids in a house next to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, completely changing the spatial geometry and therefore altering the experience of the architecture from the functional to the disorientating and experimental. The sense of up and down and inside and out was warped, the construction behind the finished surfaces revealed, and something entirely new was created by virtue of destruction.

The work now exists in a series of photo-collages, which employ the same methods of cutting and exposing to convey a discombobulating sense of space and preserve a sense of three dimensions on the flat surface. The interference makes use of the properties of the medium, involving film perforation, the cut edges of photo positives and the addition of coloured gels and tape. I think it is wonderful to imagine the energy behind the activities that are now reflected in these photographs.

I find these building cuts fascinating for the way that they radically explore and subvert the experience of architectural spaces, and greatly admire the gusto with which Matta-Clark went about making them, as they were grand undertakings that were not always officially sanctioned. By creating these bold, graceful shapes in the wasted spaces of the city, he performed alchemy that changed the stuff of everyday into something liberating and exhilarating.

About Jill Quigley

Jill Quigley (b. Ireland) recently graduated from the MFA in Photography at the University of Ulster, having previously studied Art History at Trinity College Dublin. She is interested in photographing contemporary rural life and in disrupting traditional imagery of the countryside. Her masters project ‘Cottages of Quigley’s Point’ has been exhibited in Ireland, Wales and Germany and she was included in the British Journal of Photography's 'Ones to Watch' edition in January 2014. Jill Quigley currently lives and works in Belfast.

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