Purchased on eBay by the artist in 2013, a fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteorite begins the next stage of its 4.5 billion year journey from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter into the hands of man, reemerging on eBay as a thing transformed. Shown alongside an SD single screen video work.
At 9.20am on 15 February 2013, a 20-metre-wide meteorite weighing 12,000 tons entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 42,000 mph. It caused a blast 20-30 times more powerful than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb and sent more than a thousand people to hospital.
The Chelyabinsk meteorite received worldwide attention in February 2013 because its descent was captured on cctv and car dashboard cameras all over the city.
The largest single piece of the meteorite, weighing around 650kg, punched a 6 metre hole into the ice of Lake Chebarkul. This set off a rush to find other fragments of the space rock. One local resident was selling a 3.4kg piece of meteorite for 60,000 dollars.
Many of these fragments were sold on the internet auction site eBay. This is how the artist procured her piece of the Chelyabinsk Meteorite.
Meteorites are the primordial building blocks of our solar system – they are a unique record of conditions that existed 4.5 billion years ago, before the Earth had formed. By studying meteorites we can learn about the formation of our solar system.
The Ancient Egyptians used meteoric iron, or “iron from the sky”, to make sacred jewellery that was buried with their dead. Beads made with meteoric iron excavated from an archaeological site in Gerzeh, Egypt, are the oldest known example of metal working.
In September 2013 it was reported that a Church of the Meteorite had been set up in Chelyabinsk. Followers of the Church believe that the meteorite is a message from God, containing a set of spiritual laws that will help humanity live in a new age of spiritual enlightenment, the ‘Age of Aquarius’.
As part of the exhibition Crab Walk at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, a rare fragment of the Chelyabinsk Meteorite has been transformed into a one-off necklace, which will be auctioned on eBay on the anniversary of the meteorite’s fall, 15 February 2016.
The exhibition runs from 30th October 2015 – 20th February 2016.
Join Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art’s Facebook event Baetylus (Catch a Falling Star) for more information and updates about the auction of the meteorite necklace.