My first contact with the fixed ether-reality installations of Cornelia Park was “MASS” at the Phoenix Art Museum, where every Thursday of my senior year of High school was spent (the free admission day, after early dismissal).
I found out that this piece was created during a residency at ArtPace in San Antonio, Texas, in 1997, after she read about a Baptist Church in nearby Lytle that was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. She obtained permission from the church to gather the charred remains, which she then suspended from the ceiling with thread and wire to create Mass. The ‘mass’ creates a suspended cube, void of life and a sense of estrangement. Reminiscent of Slavoj Zizek’s article that says the only church that illuminates is the burning church.
Over the years I have come across many more of her suspended (physically and temporally) and am continually struck by the power and grace that she creates in these subtle choreographies of space.
And then, when you stumble upon her drawings and photography…