Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions, Cornelia Parker’s work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations that transform ordinary objects into something compelling and unexpected. Parker’s exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts featured a new work, Anti-Mass, created during a FOR-SITE residency. The sculpture was constructed from the charred timbers of a Baptist church with a predominantly African American congregation; the church had been destroyed by arson. Anti-Mass was presented alongside a 1997 work, Mass (Colder Darker Matter), which was made from the remains of another Baptist church — this one with a mostly white congregation — that had been struck by lightning.
Recipient of the prestigious Turner Prize in 1997, Cornelia Parker has earned an international reputation for sculptural installations proposing that matter is never destroyed, but merely transformed. Her work has been featured in England, Europe, and the United States, including exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery, London; ICA/Boston; Kunstverein, Stuttgart; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.