Inspiration and Cornelia Parker
Posted by Erin on November 21, 2008 - 3:48pm
Categories: Within the Walls

Considering that in our newly installed The Permanent Collection and Then Some—on the Museum's first floor—includes a striking rolled metal piece by British artist Cornelia Parker, Rorschach (Endless Column I), 2005, I thought it would be apt to post an excerpt from Parker's writing. Rorschach (Endless Column I), 2005

The following is taken from an article penned by the artist that appeared in The Guardian on February 12th of this year.  It concerns her interview (and subsequent piece titled "Chomskian Abstract") with MIT linguist, Noam Chomsky.

It is my hope that this short segment will inspire!

"I had worried that an interview with Chomsky might be dry, but in the end it turned out to be emotive and compelling. I also realised [sic] that I was drawing on a sense of apocalypse - death and resurrection - that was always there in my previous work. I have, in my time, steam-rollered objects (Thirty Pieces of Silver, 1989), blown them up (Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991), and submerged them in my bath (Drowned Monuments, 1984).

What was the most important thing I learned from Chomsky? That capitalism compels us to work ourselves to death in order to stuff our houses with things we don't need. Perhaps this is one thing art can do: create a new aesthetic, one of austerity. There are other things art can do. It can imagine the unimaginable.

I have just read my first novel in more than two years, Cormac McCarthy's bleak but redemptive The Road, in which the author imagines what the end of the world might look and feel like (McCarthy regularly talks to scientists). Artists can bear witness. We are free radicals in a way that scientists can never be. Humanity may be on the brink of disaster, but this could be an exciting, creative period, with everyone - philosophers, artists, politicians, bus drivers - doing everything they can to avert it. My Chomsky piece is me putting my head above the parapet."