Thursday, 17 June 2010

Cornelia Parker

b. 1956, Cheshire, England

For some years Cornelia Parker’s work has been concerned with formalising things beyond our control, containing the volatile and making it into something that is quiet and contemplative like the ‘eye of the storm’. She is fascinated with processes in the world that mimic cartoon ‘deaths’ – steamrollering, shooting full of holes, falling from cliffs and explosions. Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions her work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations, which allow the viewer to witness the transformation of the most ordinary objects into something compelling and extraordinary. Lately Parker’s attention has turned to issues of globalisation, consumerism and the mass-media.

    • Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991
    • A garden shed and contents blown up
    • Dimensions variable
  • Hanging Fire Suspected Arson, 1999
  • Charcoal, wire, pins, nails
  • Length: 140 cm Width: 84 cm Height: 220 cm
    • Edge of England, 1999

      Chalk retrieved from a cliff fall at Beatch Head, South Downs, England

  • Breathless, 2001
  • Brass musical instruments, flattened
  • Alter Ego, 2004
  • Silver plated objects, wire
  • Quoting artist Cornelia Parker as she discusses her work, including Cold, Dark Matter: An Exploded View from 1991:

“I resurrect things that have been killed off... My work is all about the potential of materials - even when it looks like they've lost all possibilities.”

“It's a modern condition: the threat of bomb scares, and the fear it symbolizes. From seeing explosions on the news and all the time in films you sort of think you know what they are, but really your firsthand knowledge of it is very limited. I realized I'd never walked through the detritus of a bombed-out building."

"I like the life/death resurrection bit, which is very Catholic, something dies, but it's resurrected in another form."

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