Cornelia Parker, “Rorschach (Accidental IV)," detail, 70 silver-plated objects crushed by 250-ton industrial press, metal wire, 2006. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Museum purchase, International and Contemporary Collectors Funds. Photo courtesy of Frith Street Gallery, London, England.

Cornelia Parker exhibition: ‘Rorschach’

The SCAD Museum of Art presents “Rorschach (Accidental IV),” an installation of 70 pieces of flattened antique silver, seeming to levitate just above the gallery floor by Cornelia Parker. Early in her career, the British sculptor avoided the familiar associations of representational objects by creating purely abstract works. In the “Rorschach” series Parker reverses the process and achieves abstraction by removing recognizable items from their fundamental usage or meanings.

“Rorschach” was inspired by Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrist who developed a technique of psychoanalysis utilizing inkblots. Ink is placed onto a piece of paper, folded in half, and when opened produces a symmetrical pattern. Rorschach prompted his subjects to make mental associations based on the ink designs, and these were interpreted as direct projections of the subconscious.

In “Rorschach (Accidental IV),” the silver objects act as substitutes for the inkblots in the original test, and literally mirror the viewer’s reflection. As in all of her works with found objects, individual pieces with varying pasts have shared the same fate in the artist’s hands. Transformed by their lack of dimensionality and suspended a few inches above the gallery floor, the objects and their shadows become cartoon images of their former selves.

This exhibition is curated by Alexandra Sachs, executive director of SCAD FASH and Atlanta exhibitions.

Reception: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, 7 p.m.

Museum hours:

  • Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Daily admission to the museum is free for all SCAD students, faculty, staff and museum members.

Presented as part of deFINE ART 2016, which takes place Tuesday, Feb. 16 through Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.

All deFINE ART lectures, receptions and events are free and open to the public.