Mashup: Music in Art Form

By Jo Phillips

From the 10th of September to the 19th of November 2016, the Gallery @ The Vicic, Barnsley shows the key early works by the British artists Cornelia Parker and Jeremy Deller, who are two of the most significant British artists of the last twenty years. Each of the artists has one side of the gallery to present their work.

On the one hand, there is the sculptor and installation artist Cornelia Parker with her complex, darkly humorous and ironic works, who was even nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997. Her installation “Perpetual Canon” is made of sixty wind instruments that once belonged to a brass band. The instruments have been flattened, silver plated and suspended in space, so they form a circle. A single bulb in the centre of the instruments creates shadows on the walls of the gallery. These shadows of the instruments form the visual presentation of a canon, which is shown through the silent repetition of the image of the instruments.

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On the other side of the gallery, Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller presents his “The History Of The World” project, which is a graphic and textual portrayal of the history, influence and context for two seemingly different musical movements, Acid House and brass bands. The installation follows the form of a flow diagram and suggests that there are social and political echoes and points of confluence between these two musical movements. They date from different eras, as acid house is a post-industrial movement of the late 20th century, while the brass band movement is from the industrial era in the 19th century. The work may look like a casually handwritten flow diagram, but it is actually produced by projecting an image onto a white wall and drawing accurately around the design. They first use a sharp HB pencil and then paint in the letters with matt black acrylic paint, so it is carefully composed, drawn and painted.

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The overall theme of the exhibition is the exploration of  the varied and cultural significance of Barnsley and the brass band’s history in connection to the surrounding region and how it unites people within communities. As of now, the exhibition will be open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.