Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Cornelia Parker has flattened a brass band

Cornelia Parker's latest exhibition at the Baltic Gallery in Newcastle features this new piece: the constituent instruments of a brass band, flattened by an industrial press and suspended in a dim lamplit room for inspection.

In a video interview for the Guardian, Cornelia explains how she liked the idea of wind instruments "exhaling" and being flat and "out of puff".

There is something almost comical about the installation, and Cornelia took inspiration from a Charlie Chaplin film where he accidentally flattens a fob watch in a press. However, for me, there is also something sad lurking under the surface, I think. The instruments make me think of colliery bands and how that part of our culture has been lost and "flattened".

Other works in the exhibition include wire tracery nets made from deconstituted bullets and ominous polished Colt gun cutouts. It runs until September.

Baltic Gallery page

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