Parker's Ghosts
Posted by Casey on April 24, 2009 - 9:35am
Categories: Within the Walls

Cornelia Parker, Rorschach (Endless Column 1)

I will admit that I am very fond of a more than a few of the pieces in the Modern. A fondness that is probably slightly unhealthy, but it makes no difference, as I am sure there are things much worse than indulging in art. Cornelia Parker's Rorschach (Endless Column 1) is definitely up there. She has a gift for taking the utterly chaotic and transforming it into something most aesthetically pleasing.

Parker's signature of suspension remains intact, while her material is of a much more desireable nature in Rorschach. Rorschach is a fleet of foreign crafts, organized and linear in every sense of the word, reeking of something tragic and moving noiselessly through the air like floating ghosts. The glint and sparkle suggests a time of luxury when cups overflowed with joy, but now they are empty, hovering and swinging ever so slightly. This is a message not so foreign in the present day. It is hard to ignore the blatant and almost garish depiction of a cartoonish death of the bourgeois being steamrolled. Parker says about her work that, "I am concerned with ambivalence, with opposites, with inhaling and exhaling, things falling and things rising, things disintegrating and coming together...with killing things off, as if they existed in cartoon comics, and then resurrecting them, so that one set of references is negated as a new one takes its place." Unlike the uncontrollable ups and mostly downs of the market, Parker seems to be conveying a much more uplifting messge, as her work is often concerned with the formalization of the uncontrollable. Rorschach somehow is transformed from brilliant silver anarchy to a radiant metallic construction.

One would be blind to ignore the psychology of the form. Symmetrical and balanced, the form and outline is open for intrepretation. Rorschach relies heavily upon its title. For without the allusion to a late psychologist the poetic intelligence of the work is lost upon the minimalistic presentation. Parker's comic poignancy is not lost upon Rorschach.