Mat Collishaw’s Black Mirror

Matt Collishaw created an exhibition – Black Mirror –  at The Borghese gallery animating 3 Caravaggio paintings behind two way mirrors to create a new space – a place between fixed painting and real life. black-mirror-006

This had been prefigured by an earlier work by Collishaw in 2013 – East of Eden, which depicted a writhing snake moving on an lcd screen behind darkened surveillance glass, the effect is an animated painting, a mythological idea, the moving painting.


Collislaw talks in a video to accompany the Borghese pieces of how the framing of the paintings, change our view.  He uses a melancholy black glass, emphasising the black space in Caravaggio’s paintings, the space between life and death.  The reanimated models, digitally move, sway and even wink, they must have originally twitched in Caravaggio’s studio as he painted them, creating the fixed moment ‘like a photograph’ of the original paintings. As Collishaw says this is a kind of ‘Necromancy – to cross the border between life and death’.



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