Mat Collishaw “Superveilance” 2010 press release

Gallery B: “Superveilance” – Mat Collishaw

Opening Friday May 14th – 7 pm to 21,30 pm – From May 14th to July 16th 2010

Reflections on the ambiguity between reality and representation, on the never unique value of an image or a word. Mat Collishaw (Nottingham 1966 – lives and works in London) leads the viewer to an unconventional perception of issues related to crime news, myth, history of art, eros, dreams and man’s primitive nightmares. The artist questions the icons of all times, calling for a new vision, sometimes intimate sometimes provocative, moving away from a passive acceptance. Introducing a disruptive element that twists or changes reality, without ever neglecting the aesthetic value, he creates a movement of attraction and repulsion, which poses the problem of the very existence of images and their meanings.

Since 1993 Collishaw, at that time emerging representative of the Young British Artists, has established a lasting relationship with the Raucci/Santamaria gallery presenting today his sixth personal exhibition titled “Superveilance”. A compound word that has many aspects, playing with the sense of surveillance opposed to the need to rip the veil of appearances.

So in “The Island of the Dead”, inspired by the famous painting of the symbolist Arnold Böcklin, a 3D program plays the passage of light in the 24 hours from sunrise to sunset revealing, in the blackness of night, the reflection of the beholder. The exhibition also includes three tree stumps where instead of the concentric rings used to measure the age of the tree trunks, runs a vinyl record that plays the sound of birds singing and the rustle of leaves. Nature and mechanics are hybridized, the memory of life has a voice through technology. In the exhibition two lithophanies on corian which, thanks to the effects of transparency, show a contrast between the image and the value that it assumes in collective imagination.

A clash that sees the reproduction of the tree “Major Oak”, a symbol of Nottingham connected to the figure of Robin Hood. A tree that should be long dead and instead is kept standing with the aid of props and structures, like a tourism billboard: the lights on the back of the trunk and branches pulsate, making a ghostly effect, an X-ray in which twigs take the shape of a tangle of veins. “The Ecstasy of Staint Teresa” instead reproduces Bernini’s sculpture, balanced between religious pathos and erotic thrill; through a system of horizontal backlight, the saint’s profile, as if touched by an unearthly light, slowly appears making material and tangible an ethereal semblance.

A path which shortens the dichotomy between life and death, physical and spiritual, in which the contemplation of reality becomes distorted, and observation is deceit.