Friday, November 4, 2016

Cornelia Parker / This much I know / I dressed up a statue of Churchill as a Dadaist act

Cornelia Parker
This much I know

Cornelia Parker: I dressed up a statue of Churchill as a Dadaist act


The artist, 60, on blowing up sheds, killing chickens in Cheshire and getting cross with Jeremy Corbyn


Ursula Kenny
Saturday 1 October 2016 14.00 BST

When I made the shed 25 years ago it was a less politically trammelled time. [For Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, Parker blew up a garden shed and used the fragments for an installation]. I recently talked to the British army major who blew it up for me and he said it would be impossible to do now. The work becomes ever more pertinent though – explosions are increasingly ubiquitous. I made it with the backdrop of the IRA bombings and now we have a different kind of threat.
Being married to another artist [Texan painter Jeff McMillan] means never having to explain yourself. We’re involved in the same activity and that makes sense. Like Laura Trott and Jason Kenny – you don’t have to explain why you’re training 24 hours a day.
My father made me feel guilty for playing, for having time off. I was put to work on the smallholding that we had in Cheshire. I was well versed in killing chickens and helping animals give birth – piglets, calving. My father was a very controlling man and it was a big relief to get away from that.
You don’t have to have angst to be an artist, but it’s grist to the mill. If you want to explore the whole emotional spectrum in your work, it helps to have experienced intense emotions. At times I’ve been incapacitated by anxiety and unhappiness. You really know what joy is if you have experienced the opposite.
Jeremy Corbyn makes me angry. He seems vain. He’s enjoying his moment at the expense of the Labour party whose future he is wilfully jeopardising. We, the British public, would love to have an opposition.
We’re going to be a drab little island if we don’t stop cutting funding for art education. Art in our schools is being sidelined.
Since becoming a mother [to Lily, 15], I have really focused on green issues. It would be a dereliction of duty not to.

Cornelia Parker, Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson), 1999

Art is generally a singular vision, but I often collaborate, working with all kinds of people. There’s a lot of challenging your own prejudices. What interests me is the friction between two things, the slippage of meaning.
When I visit art schools now there are almost no working-class students. There are no students on full grants like I was. My niece is studying textiles at Loughborough, her mother is a nurse and she’s racking up huge student debt. There is much more stress for students from low-income families.
There’s a lot more to being an artist now. It’s not just making the work, it’s mediating it as well. I recently worked with Vic Reeves on a programme about Dada. He and I responded to a bronze statue of Churchill and Roosevelt. We dressed them up in an irreverent Dadaist act and there has been a little controversy in the press about it. It seemed harmless, but our instant Twitter culture means everyone needs more and more fodder.

THE GUARDIAN



THIS MUCH I KNOW


No comments:

Post a Comment