Mat Collishaw has been a significant figure on the international art scene for over 20 years. His new commission for the BFI Gallery
is in response to the visionary work of the late Georgian/Armenian film director Sergei Paradjanov. The project fuses sculpture and the moving image in an atmospheric work evoking the spirit of Paradjanov and forms part of the 2010 festival of his work and legacy. A season of Paradjanov films in the BFI Southbank cinemas complements the show. Mat Collishaw opens in the BFI Gallery on 26 February and runs until 9 May 2010.
Collishaw and Paradjanov share a perceptive understanding of the mechanics of beauty which they both exploit in their art combining diverse cultural elements, using framing devices and employing a sensual use of colour. For this commission Collishaw is assembling original antique objects, abandoned windows and two way mirrors together with video footage, both existing and recently shot in Armenia . Paradjanovs trademark style of making films in which every shot resembles a collage is reflected in the piece. By projecting digitally manipulated images on to objects, Collishaw fuses the two dimensionality of the moving image with the three dimensionality of sculpture. The new installation, whilst being defined by Collishaws very distinctive style, poetically conveys the spirit of Paradjanovs artistic endeavour, creating a fairytale world where good and evil, sacred and profane, love and violence merge..
Mat Collishaw was born in Nottingham in 1966 and studied at Goldsmiths College. He is renowned for his photographs and video installations which meld a style and technique reminiscent of much older art forms, with images and projections of fascinating and shocking beauty. He currently lives and works in London where his work has received increasing critical and public acclaim ever since he exhibited in the notorious Freeze exhibition in 1988. He took part in the infamous Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1997 and continues to exhibit both in the UK and internationally.
Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990) is widely regarded as one of the 20th centurys greatest masters of cinema. He was born in Georgia to Armenian parents and studied film in Moscow . He started making films in 1954 and is celebrated for his poetic and visionary films including Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors (1964), The Colour of Pomegranates (1968) and Ashik Kerib (1988). Despite his international celebrity, many of his films were banned or closed by the Soviet film administration and he spent several years in Soviet prisons and labour camps.