Modem Europe Fall-Winter 2012-2013
Cover by Mat Collishaw
For this edition cover and section dividers we have given “carte blanche” to Mat Collishaw.
Born in UK in 1966, Mat Collishaw graduated from Goldsmiths College in the late 80s, when the creativity of the so-called YBAs just started to get recognized.
Over the last twenty years, the art of Mat Collishaw has developed in a very personal and original way, specifically along the lines of the sublime: fascination and fear, beauty and terror, transcendence and outrageousness.
“Life can be beautiful in many ways but there is always cruelty and tragedy behind, and these oppositions are essential”.
“Beast in me” (Modem cover) is a model piece for sublime and baroque. As artists did at the very beginning of the Baroque, Collishaw inspires himself from the past, and tends to transcend it. Beast in Me refers to the past legend of Goddess Europa taken away from Zeus while offering beyond the legend a dramatic reflection on the outrageous love between humans and animals.
Collishaw defends the position that art is not a place for moralizing, “but the one area in life where you can actually put ideas up for debate, to be talked about or thought about, reflected on, without having the shackles of moral constraint put around it.
Art is a place where you can think about morally ambiguous situations”.
“The Venal Muses” (Modem dividers) grew out of another of Collishaw’s fascination: Flowers. Flowers and their birth, life and death cycles, their beauty and their rot.
Flowers invaded his work more than fifteen years ago, the Infectious Flowers, the vegetal Flesheaters, and more recently, the 2011 most impressive Sordid Earth projection, at the Round House in London, in collaboration with Ron Arad.
Giant diseased infested flowers projected on to a massive 360-degree curtain made up of hanging silicone tendrils.
Collishaw offered MODEM the very first prints of these Venal Muses, sumptuous diseased flowers that evolve in a world where beauty never blossoms without harrowing fear of its own decay.
Major institutional shows include: «Deliverance», Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse,France, 2012; Istanbul Biennale, Turkey, 2011; «Magic Lantern», Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK, 2010; «Hysteria», Freud Museum, London, UK, 2009; «Mat Collishaw», Inverleith House, Edinburgh, UK, 2005.