We often talk about art exhibitions going off with a bang, but the Museum of Contemporary Art’s summer blockbuster takes that phrase rather literally. Cornelia Parker’s solo exhibition (until Feb 16) features genre-defying works, like the blown-up garden shed that makes up Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991), steamrollered silver objects in Thirty Pieces of Silver (1988–89) and thousands of dried lumps of earth from one famous leaning tower in Italy for Subconscious of a Monument (2001–05).
These installations invite an Australian audience into Parker's world through the most extensive survey exhibition of her works in the southern hemisphere. Born in 1956 in Cheshire, Parker is one of Britain's most established artists. In 1997, she was shortlisted for the UK's most prominent art award, the Turner Prize, and in 2010 was awarded an OBE from the Queen and was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
The MCA’s exhibition presents 40 artworks from the late 1980s to the present, dealing with metaphors of war, violence and politics throughout epic installations, photography, films, drawings and installation. It’s all about the instability of the object and how we attach meaning to things, drawing from ideas of the Fluxus movement. “I wanted to make work that was ephemeral to describe the way I felt about the world,” Parker shared in an interview with curator Rachel Kent, “which wasn’t about being grounded at all.”