Never Endings was the first survey of new and recent work by Cornelia Parker in the UK for ten years. Characteristically ambitious in both form and content, it consisted of installation, sculptural pieces and video, the latter constituting a significant development in the artist’s practice.
Chomskian Abstract is a video that features the distinguished writer and philosopher Noam Chomsky. In response to Parker’s questions, Chomsky considers the possibility of global environmental catastrophe, what the artist refers to as a “quieter apocalypse …[the] 50/50 chance that the planet may not be able to sustain human life by the end of this century”. His answers on this subject are interconnected with astute observations on the nature of democracy vis à vis consumerism, Middle Eastern politics and the role of fear in a post-Cold War world.
The most dramatic work was Heart of Darkness, an installation involving charred timber resulting from a fierce forest fire that happened in Florida in 2004. The artist alludes to the original landscape by suspending the black distressed forms from the high ceiling of a white room thus creating an extraordinary three-dimensional charcoal drawing. The work is a quiet resurrection, formalising
In Killing Time, Parker presents footage she filmed on four consecutive days at an unspecified location in America. It features a group of tourists waiting, watching with cameras, ready to capture a breathtaking event. They are full of anticipation, talking about something that they are sure is imminent, and thus the artist epitomises the agonising process of counting down seconds and minutes before a desired event takes place.
The exhibition also featured Blue Shift, an installation involving the original nightgown worn by Mia Farrow in Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. It brilliantly captures the supernatural proposition of the film.
A fully illustrated catalogue was available for £15.95, which includes text by Sadie Plant and a transcript of the Chomsky interview. To coincide with Never Endings, Parker has also produced two badges and a limited edition photographic print. The print, Matt with ‘Dynamite’ in 1999 (2007) is an edition of 40, available to buy from Ikon Shop for £200. Please contact Ikon Shop or buy online.
Never Endings was generously supported by The Henry Moore Foundation. With kind thanks to Brontë Museum Parsonage Museum, Haworth, West Yorkshire.
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