Mat Collishaw (Nottingham 1966 – lives and works in London) drives the spectator towards an unconventional perception of the suggestions pertaining to the themes of myth, history of art and Eros. The artist calls into question the icons of every age, inviting us to a new vision – at times introspective, at times provocative – keeping us from passive acceptance of his works.
Through the use of photography, sculpture and installations, often combined with technology – digital or otherwise – the artist distorts and modifies reality, introducing a disturbing element and consequently making it less familiar and reassuring. A motion of attraction/repulsion is thus created, which poses the problem of the relativity of meaning and of the significance of an image. Collishaw’s works are never univocal, always balancing between life and death, crepuscular and overwhelming, revealing the ambiguity of the relationship between reality, representation and perception.
Since 1993 Collishaw, then an up-and-coming representative of Young British Artists, established a long-lasting relationship with the Raucci-Santamaria gallery, and today presents “The Crystal Gaze”. The gallery has been transformed into a Victorian Age mirror hall, by furnishing it with a set of mirrors mounted on luminous resin frames. Slowly lighting up, the frames make the reflecting surfaces disappear, revealing crystallised images. These are three-dimensional pictures of tropical birds and flowers photographed while immobilised in ice: still lives that slowly fade away as the light of the frames wanes, until they return to the initial state. In that respect, the works are like windows through which one can look at a tropical paradise perturbed by merciless and unusual weather conditions. The fading of the illumination makes these representations, enclosed in their glacial prison, even more fleeting and elusive. A perpetual cycle culminating in darkness, revealing the image of the spectator facing their own reflection.
The interpretative keys offered by Collishaw are diverse: on the one hand we have a study on the function of photography, capable of freezing an image in space and time, just like ice. On the other hand the artist, ever sensitive to the theme of the transience of beauty, erases the wilting of life and preserves the ephemeral in an enchanted image without age.
Mat Collishaw, The Crystal Gaze N. 4, 2012
Mat Collishaw, The Crystal Gaze N. 3, 2012
Above – Mat Collishaw, “The Crystal Gaze”, Raucci/Santamaria, Naples
until 20 July 2012
Gallery B: Danilo Correale. We Have a Business Proposal
The human aspect of financial capitalism is the core of the project Danilo Correale (Naples 1982 – lives and works in London) presents for his second exhibition in the Raucci/Santamaria Gallery. The artist brings into focus the apparently prohibited and faceless terrain of power, his gestures and rhetoric, focusing on individuals hiding behind the institutional facade. Correale proposes a possible pass key to that linguistic opacity that has always constituted solid shelter of power, both politic and economic. It is in fact clear that the increasingly hazy lexicon used by the political system, is leading the masses to slowly detach from the institutions. With a speculative approach the artist highlights how, by studying the biographies of individuals making part of the world of politics, a possible alternative interpretation to what could be defined “semiotics of power” may be found.
In a pure visual metaphor, in the two photographs Untitled (the stumble) operators of finance are immortalized while they fail to the ground, it is not the great companies that collapse, but the individuals, workers at the service of deciphering of complex codes, main character of a system based on exchanges and immaterial relations.
With a research based on paradox, personal failure, focused on the fragility of the economical system, the artist tries, with a profanatory attitude, to highlight the “banality of evil”. For this purpose the works exhibited aspire to a more than a rational poetic dialogue with the characteristic coldness and apparent sobriety of the institutions. It is the case of the photographic installation The future in their hands (the visible hands) in which the artist, speculating on the impossibility to determine the true nature and shifty personality of some influential representatives of the political/financial world, tries to decipher the “ invisible hand of the market”. In collaboration with a famous Indian fortune-teller the palms of six influential men were read and for each one of them a personality profile was traced, creating an ideal ambiguity between the human aspect and public image of the leaders charge of regulating and handling the present and future of our society.
Words and gestures of those who governs flow through a sharp strategy of communication. Correale sums up the vices and habits with the work We are sorry, an apologetic manifesto directed to the public whose emissaries however remain unclear : a syntactical process with no agent in which each reader finds himself unaware and consenting protagonist.
Disillusion towards an indifferent power and politics that is completely integrated in the economical world is also underlined with a series of twenty-five small canvasses which start and finish with two messages. The first is an email for a business proposal, like the ones arriving in 90% of the web users junk mail, promising easy millionaire businesses; the second instead imitates a governmental financial tactic. In the passage between these extremes the artist highlights the variety of messages and the possible linguistic combinations to decode.
An articulate exhibition path completed by a series of small publications belonging to different anonymous help groups. Notepads testifying a mass conscience unable to absorb the failure of a system that is increasingly detached and uninvolved.
Danilo Correale, The Stumble N.1, 2012
Danilo Correale, National Anatema (We’re Sorry), 2012
Danilo Correale, “We Have a Business Proposal”, Raucci/Santamaria, Naples
until 20 July 2012