Not currently on display at the V&A

Bated Breath: Fluff and Dust from the Whispering Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, London, 1997

Photograph
1997 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Cornelia Parker is a London-based artist who works in sculpture, installation and photography. In this piece, Bated Breath: Fluff and Dust Collected from the Whispering Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, London, the artist has tried to capture the atmosphere within the Cathedral. As she herself describes, 'I focused on the felted layer of dust that had collected on the edges of the parapet. This dust formed an accumulated acoustic, built up over time by the thousands of whispering visitors. Later, trapped between the glass, the fluff and dust was used as a negative to produce a photogram'.

A photogram is a photograph made without a camera or a lens by placing an object or objects on top of a piece of paper or film coated with light-sensitive materials and then exposing the paper or film to light. Where the object covers the paper, the paper remains unexposed and light in tone; where it does not cover, the paper darkens. If the object is translucent, midtones appear. After exposure the paper is developed and fixed.
read Cameraless photography Cameraless techniques have been exploited and reinterpreted by successive generations of image makers and continue to be used by contemporary artists today. While related to the conventional practices of photography, cameraless images offer an alternative, experimental, radical and often r...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Photogram
Brief Description
Parker, Corneila. 'Bated Breath: Fluff and Dust Collected from the Whispering Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, London', 1997.
Physical Description
Black and white photogram of fluff and dust collected from the Whispering Gallery, St Pauls Cathedral, London.
Dimensions
  • Frame height: 62.5cm
  • Frame width: 62.5cm
  • Print height: 29cm
  • Print width: 29cm
Copy Number
1 of 2
Gallery Label
  • Cameraless Photography Cornelia Parker (b.1956) Bated Breath: Fluff and Dust from the Whispering Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, London 1997 Gelatin silver print 29 x 29 cm Museum no. E.490-1998 Parker describes her making of this image: ‘I was on my hands and knees in the hushed gallery, trying to cope with my fear of heights, when I focused on the felted layer of dust that had collected on the edges of the parapet. This dust formed an accumulated acoustic, built up over time by the thousands of whispering visitors. Later, trapped between the glass, the fluff and dust was used as a negative to produce a photogram.’
  • Cornelia Parker (British, born 1956) Bated Breath: Fluff and Dust from the Whispering Gallery, St. Pauls' Cathedral, London. 1997 Gelatin-silver print Bought 1998 E.490-1998 "I was on my hands and knees in the hushed gallery, trying to cope with my fear of heights, when I focused on the felted layer of dust that had collected on the edges of the parapet. This dust formed an accumulated acoustic, built up over time by the thousands of whispering visitors. Later, trapped between the glass, the fluff and dust was used as a negative to produce a photogram." Cornelia Parker, 1998
Object history
Gelatin-silver print (Photogram) by Cornelia Parker (born Gloucestershire, 4 July 1956)



Historical significance: The photogram process which Parker has used for this piece, placing the fluff and dust directly onto the photographic paper, has its precedents in the earliest paper photography. The process was famously re-interpreted by photographers such as Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy.
Subjects depicted
Places Depicted
Summary
Cornelia Parker is a London-based artist who works in sculpture, installation and photography. In this piece, Bated Breath: Fluff and Dust Collected from the Whispering Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, London, the artist has tried to capture the atmosphere within the Cathedral. As she herself describes, 'I focused on the felted layer of dust that had collected on the edges of the parapet. This dust formed an accumulated acoustic, built up over time by the thousands of whispering visitors. Later, trapped between the glass, the fluff and dust was used as a negative to produce a photogram'.



A photogram is a photograph made without a camera or a lens by placing an object or objects on top of a piece of paper or film coated with light-sensitive materials and then exposing the paper or film to light. Where the object covers the paper, the paper remains unexposed and light in tone; where it does not cover, the paper darkens. If the object is translucent, midtones appear. After exposure the paper is developed and fixed.
Collection
Accession Number
E.490-1998

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record createdSeptember 15, 2003
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