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Meteorite Misses Waco, Texas

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (possibly, made)
    United States (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    2001 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Parker, Cornelia, born 1956 (artist)
    The Multiple Store (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper scorched with a meteorite

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Julie and Robert Breckman Print Fund

  • Museum number:

    E.262-2005

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 514a, case RK, shelf 24, box R

One of the devices used by artist Cornelia Parker is to subject familiar everyday objects to extremes of temperature, pressure or force. The resulting transformations retain a residual trace of their original form and seem to invite the viewer to reconsider their own relationship with history and mortality.

For the suite of map works called ‘Meteorite Lands in the Middle of Nowhere: The American Series’ Parker heated a tiny meteorite and carefully scorched six selected place names in the USA on as many maps. Some of Parker’s meteorites make direct hits, others are near misses, but the associative power of the place names she has chosen is self-evident: Bagdad, Louisiana, Paris, Texas, and Bethlehem, North Carolina, are all hits; Roswell, New Mexico, Waco, Texas, and Truth or Consequences, also New Mexico, are all misses. In another series Parker has meteorites landing on sites in London.

The work plays with the almost obsessive place meteorites now have in the popular imagination, given their potential capacity to completely annihilate the earth. Parker suggests that by displacing fear onto this external threat, meteors distract humanity from the dangers it poses to itself.

Physical description

A printed road atlas of North America, opened to a page showing Waco, Texas and surrounding area. To the left of Waco the surface sheet has been burned through to pages beneath which also bear scorch marks the whole is fixed to a support card and framed in a deep frame.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (possibly, made)
United States (possibly, made)

Date

2001 (made)

Artist/maker

Parker, Cornelia, born 1956 (artist)
The Multiple Store (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper scorched with a meteorite

Marks and inscriptions

'Meteorite Misses Waco, Texas / 2001 / Cornelia Parker / 7/20'
Title; date; signature; edition number

Dimensions

Height: 47.1 cm outside of frame, Width: 65 cm outside of frame, Depth: 3.7 cm outside of frame

Descriptive line

Map work by Cornelia Parker, 'Meteorite Misses Waco, Texas'; 2001

Labels and date

This is from a series called Meteorite Lands in the Middle of Nowhere for which the artist heated a tiny meteorite and scorched six selected place names in the USA on as many maps. Some of her meteorites make direct hits, others are near misses, but all the place names have been chosen for their powerful associations. [2007]

Production Note

Made in the USA or the UK.

Attribution note: produced in an edition of 20 but each atlas in each 'impression' of the edition is different.

Materials

Meteorite; Printed paper

Techniques

Scorching

Subjects depicted

Meteorites; Nemesis; Atlas; Map; Destruction (through natural forces)

Categories

Books; Myths & Legends; Prints; Maps

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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