Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Cornelia Parker talks about her Meteorite Artworks

Artist Cornelia Parker is fascinated by meteorites.  She has ground and incinerated them in exploding rockets in firework displays - works that almost re-enact their falling, she says.  In her kitchen, Cornelia has also scorched impact craters on resonant or significant locations on road maps, using a red-hot iron space rock.  An iron meteorite which fell to Earth on Namibia.  This piece is one I am lucky enough to have on my wall.

A Meteorite lands on Paris, Texas

Cornelia talked with Adam Rutherford about meteorites in our recent Radio 4 feature, Frankenstein's Moon.  It was a great conversation, mingling artistic sensibility and scientific context, but it had to be cut relatively short for broadcast.  However you can hear more about Cornelia's thoughts on meteorites and her creative doings with them in a fuller, longer version of the interview here.

At some point, Cornelia would love to send a meteorite back into space: to release it back into the wild.  She talked to NASA officials about the project a few years ago.  She'd also like to place a Martian meteorite on the Moon and a piece of the Moon on the planet Mars.  An idea that's more interesting than Damian Hirst's fried colour chart on poor old Beagle 2.

"If things go to Mars in the name of science, why can't they go in the name of art?"
In the meantime, Cornelia designs and executes her Meteorite Landing and Moon Landing displays.  Such as the one in the video, staged at Jupiter Artland near Edinburgh on the night of the Full Moon in May 2009.

Jupiter Artland - Nocturne (A Moon Landing) Cornelia Parker from Jupiter Artland on Vimeo.

By the way, in Frankenstein's Moon you can also hear the explosive moment that gave birth to Cornelia's most famous work, Cold Dark Matter: the stunning, suspended sculpture now in the Tate Modern.  If this artist can get the British Army to blow up her garden shed for art's sake, surely it is within her powers to place a piece of the Moon that once fell to Earth on the surface of Mars.

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