Martin Hogue
[fake] Fake Estates: Reconsidering Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates


Best known for his spatially dynamic extractions of large sections of walls and floors from abandoned buildings, Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) purchased thirteen parcels of residual land, deemed “gutter space” or “curb property,” in Queens that had been put on sale for $25 each: a 2.33’ x 355’ long strip of land, a 1.83’ x 1.11’ lot, among others, with the goal of highlighting neglected architectural environments that make up the urban and suburban fabric. Many were literally inaccessible and landlocked between buildings or other properties. The artist created an exhibit of his newly acquired “properties” by assembling for each, and with deadpan accuracy, a photographic inventory of the site, its exact dimensions and location, as well as the deed to the property. For Matta-Clark, “the unusability of this land — and the verification of space through the laws of property — is [the] principal object of [his] critique.”

For [Fake] Fake Estates: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates, Hogue spent several months systematically canvassing the entire borough of Queens, NY, for residual properties similar to the thirteen parcels purchased there and documented by Matta-Clark in 1975. Hogue’s research seeks to visually articulate those moments when conventions for establishing the location and the precise boundaries of a site produce a conceptual “excess of surveying,” inviting speculation as to the value and purpose of land and revealing the conceptual potential of “real” sites — even small and unusable ones (a 1/8” x 110’ property, among others). The drawings, collages, and photographs suggests an intense consideration of the city’s administrative minutia as well as a interest in alternative modes of representation. In them unfolds an aggressive process seeking of sites in unexpected locations, or simply in those places we assume do not have architectural potential.

ABotM seal of approval

Self published
27.9 x 21.4 cm, 36 pages, full colour, 2006
Edition of 150

Available from the artist: martinhogue [at]

Martin Hogue is a licensed architect and has taught at several schools including Syracuse University, Auburn University, and the University of Nebraska where he was appointed Hyde Chair in Excellence in 2004. His site projects, which combine efforts in teaching, scholarly research, and design, are informed by a rich and diverse body of ideas and influences ranging from architecture to conceptual art, land art, landscape, geography, and film. A graduate of the Université de Montréal Ecole d’Architecture and Harvard University Graduate School of Design, he is presently completing a Master of Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto, bringing full circle his interest in the integration of architecture and landscape architecture in both teaching and installation projects.

Hogue’s site research was supported with residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Centre for Land Use Interpretation, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. His research has appeared in Architecture-Québec, Dichotomy, Landscape Journal, Thresholds, 306090, and the Journal of Architectural Education. Hogue’s work has been exhibited at a number of venues across the country including the Urban Center in New York, the Ohio State University, and the University of Texas at Austin. His photographs of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty have appeared in Bookforum, Numéro as well as two monographs on the work of the artist.