Immersed in complete darkness within the brutal concrete interior of this ex-mission church, Collishaw’s digital interpretation of Francis Bacon’s Study after Pope Innocent X (itself an appropriation of Velázquez’s portrait) dominates space and perception as a monumental epiphany.
The colossal video projection, where the Pope’s image is constantly dissolving and reconstituting through a mesmerizing cascade of colour shards, gives voice to an intimate dialogue between transient states of abstraction and representation.
The End of Innocence’s ghostly image resonates with the artist’s main investigation around ambivalence and his interest in seductive but yet dark fantasies and their repulsive appeal on the viewer. Collishaw’s works explore the mechanisms of visual imagery through different representational techniques, questioning their impact on the mind and the resulting heterogeneous reactions of attraction and aversion.
The hypnotic flux of particles silently and unrelentingly dropping off the pixelated portrait of Innocent X engages the viewer in a mysteriously inviting and reverential experience, intensified by the austerity and solemnity of Dilston Grove.
Mat Collishaw – The End of Innocence
20th April – 27th May 2012
Wednesday to Sunday, 12 to 6pm
Mat Collishaw – The End of Innocence (2009)
Blain|Southern Gallery – www.blainsouthern.com
Words: Cristiana Bedei