Mat Collishaw has created a new commission in response to the highly creative work of the late Georgian/Armenian film director and artist Sergei Paradjanov (1929 – 1990), whose work made him one of the most visionary directors of all time. To coincide with the wider celebrations of the work of Paradjanov at BFI Southbank taking place this month, Collishaw has created a mesmerising new exhibition for the gallery inspired by the work of the Armenian director. The project fuses sculpture and the moving image in an atmospheric work evoking the spirit of the director and forms part of the 2010 festival of his work and legacy.
RETROSPECTRE by Mat Collishaw coincides with talks, a symposium and a season of rarely seen Sergei Paradjanov feature films, shorts and documentaries about his life and work.
According to the BFI, 'Collishaw and Paradjanov share a very perceptive understanding of the mechanics of beauty, which they both exploit in their art, especially through the juxtaposition of heterogeneous elements, of framing devices and a sensual use of colour. In the influential Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors (1964), Colour of Pomegranates (1968) and Ashik Kerib (1988), films which show Paradjanov's trademark style, each shot is a three-dimensional collage simultaneously self-standing and integral to the film, where heterogeneous elements are juxtaposed, framed and re-framed; where narrative is continuously fragmented. Similarly, in the gallery, by projecting several, distinct images onto real historical objects, Collishaw fuses the moving image's two-dimensionality with the three-dimensionality of sculpture; furthermore the unexpected re-framing of the newly shot footage creates a sense of displacement. Collishaw uses digitally manipulated images he shot in Armenia together with found images - still and moving - which he frames within authentic, antique sculptural objects and which he distorts through the use of mirrors. In so doing the real is stylised and re-framed in order to convey further meaning and to create a fairytale-like world where good and evil, sacred and profane, love and violence merge.'
26th February - 9th May 2010.