York St Mary’s, 28th May – 30th October 2011
Thirty Pieces of Silver at York St Mary’s gallery comprises over a thousand silver objects, including plates, spoons, candlesticks, trophies, cigarette cases, teapots and trombones, which Cornelia Parker has collected and then flattened with a steamroller. The squashed objects are arranged into thirty ‘pieces’ and suspended by fine wires, just off the ground so that they seem to hover. Cornelia Parker will be giving a free lecture at King’s Manor, University of York, on Thursday 30th June from 1.00-2.00pm, after which she will be in conversation with Claire MacDonald.
Parker is fascinated with materials and their possibilities. She is best known for her large-scale work including everyday objects which she subjects to extreme force – squashing, exploding, charring, stretching, melting – and then gathers the remnants, transforming them into something new, something of beauty, to create the final work.
Situated in the Church of St Mary’s, there are clear links to religion- thirty pieces of silver being the payment that Judas received for betraying Jesus. The objects are transformed, and given meaning as works of art. St Mary’s church too has been altered – deconsecrated and no longer a place of worship, yet resurrected as an atmospheric contemporary art venue.