Cornelia Parker

14 Nov 2002 - 18 Jan 2003 Soho Square

Cornelia Parker’s work explores the uncharted territories within those most visited places and ideas. 

By harnessing their aura and histories and using them as a material, she creates a new space for contemplation amidst the over familiar. In Parker’s hands, nothing is stable. Objects fall apart, collide, combust, explode or are compressed to remerge as new and surprisingly beautiful forms.


Several of the works in this exhibition revolve around ideas of the subconscious: they imaginatively expose the hidden side of what we think we know. In the front gallery large fragments of dry soil are suspended to waist height from the floor. These lumps are the now-desiccated clay, which was removed from beneath the Leaning Tower of Pisa in order to prevent its collapse. There is an absurdity about removing the very earth that supports the foundations of a building to keep it standing, and here the earth seems to have percolated upwards through the gallery floor and hangs like a ghostly molecular version of Walter de Maria’s Earth Room.


For Blue Shift Parker acquired the negligee worn by Mia Farrow in Roman Polanski’s 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby. The film in part deals with the fear of the unknown, and of psychological terror transformed into reality, juxtaposing a shadowy and vampiric world with the bright naiveté of a young woman. Parker achieves a macabre yet poetic effect by juxtaposing object and metaphor.


For Tooth Drawings, Parker uses wire drawn from a mouthful of reclaimed dental gold; literally drawing teeth, the piece brings diverse elements of process, installation and narrative into powerful alignment.