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Mat Collishaw at BFI Gallery

Work by Mat Collishaw

Exhibition preview

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 February 26 and runs until May 9, 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 .

Paradjanov’s 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 Collishaw’s very distinctive style, poetically conveys the spirit of Paradjanov’s 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 Goldsmith’s 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 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 century’s 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.

The exhibition forms part of 2010’s Paradjanov Festival, details of which can be found at www.paradjanov-festival.co.uk

Events and Screenings

Mat Collishaw in Conversation – Tuesday, April 13 at 6:10pm (tbc), NFT3, £5.

Paradjanov Symposium – Saturday, March 6 from 11am to 5pm, NFT3, £15.15, concessions. £11.15 (Members pay £1.40 less).

A retrospective of Paradjanov films will be screened at BFI Southbank from March 1 to March 15. For further details from www.bfi.org.uk/whatson

Admission: Free.

Times: Tuesday to Sundays (and Bank Holiday Mondays): 12 noon to 8pm.

BFI Gallery, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road , London , SE1 8XT

Tel: Daily Information: 020 7633 0274, Box Office: 020 7928 3232