Melanie was down in town the other day and zipped into the Royal Academy, between meetings. Intrigued by the concept of a traditional shaped trophy, or silver cup, flattened and hanging upside down, she dug further and discovered the design once formed part of Cornelia Parker’s Thirty Pieces of Silver Exhibition in the late 1980s.
The exhibition featured over a 1000 silver objects – all flattened with a steam roller…trophies, spoons, trombones, candlesticks, all sorts of everyday items. Parker then created 30 disc shaped groups and suspended the objects. The title refers to the biblical story of Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus in return for 30 pieces of silver.
Design and form add another dimension
An article on the Tate website reveals how Parker wanted to demonstrate how silver is regarded as precious and special and yet, when the design and form is destroyed, the meaning is lost, until they are resurrected in another form. Fascinating and so true today. It is not just the design that adds value with trophies, it is the achievement, the memory, the sense of honour and glory, which are all associated.