Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker’s installations tear individual objects out of their temporality. Her works are single attempts to stop time, but they do not deny the decaying and destructive effects of time. To the contrary, destruction is a conscious act. For this reason, Parker’s work was ideal here, for this gallery exists in the ruin of a Swiss bank. The poorly painted walls and the patched wood floor as well as the rusty water pipes reveal the scars of time. It is also proof that the gallery will exist for a certain length of time—that it is merely a station on the temporal continuum.

In one part of the gallery, Parker fastened silver objects with a thin wire to the ceiling. Used vessels, plates, cans, and spoons, which she found at a flea market, trailed in ribbons through several rooms. In another room white chalk pieces hung directly under the decaying ceiling. On the floor, broken pieces of stone gave the impression of heaviness and created an almost magnetic tension with the stones hanging above.

In another room, there were stones lying on the floor that were deformed and transformed by water. The artist had found these stones on the English coast where, in earlier times, they had been used in the construction of houses that had now decayed. These materials were now in their original state.

Between the two rooms in which the stones were exhibited, there was a room in which Parker had formed a circle from pieces of paper that hung from the ceiling. Each piece of paper contained a word that had some relationship to the concept of gravity. Entitled Words That Describe Gravity, 1992, this installation could almost symbolically describe the entire situation in Leipzig, for the ravages of time are all too apparent even beyond the gallery walls.

Noemi Smolik

Translated from the German by Charles V. Miller.