“An alien object from space, the meteorite, embodies the fear of the unknown, fear of the future.”
Cornelia Parker is an installation artist and sculptor best known for destroying a shed in the name of art…However, I’m interested in her piece Meteorite Lands on Wormwood Scrubs which is part of the British Council’s Private Utopias Art Collection. I doubt that a Meteorite landing on the infamous Prison is Cornelia’s utopian vision. But she could be making a comment on our failed incarceration system, a metaphor for the drastic prison reform we need in this country. When originally asked about the piece, Parker stated “An alien object from space, the meteorite, embodies the fear of the unknown, fear of the future. In this sense, this is an apocalyptic work for the end of the millennium.”
Indeed twenty years on and in today’s context, with so many countries both in the middle east and in the west, under the threat of terrorism, her work has taken on a new poignancy. But the idea of an external, extra-terrestrial force impacting our daily life is an interesting one. How could we subvert this to think of what positive aspects an alien presence could have in our current world?