The 16th edition of the Pino Pascali Prize, awarded to the English artist Mat Collishaw, will open in Polignano a Mare (Bari) Friday 5th July at 7 pm.

The commission, composed by Rosalba Branà, director of the Pino Pascali Museum Foundation and by two young critics, Lorenzo Madaro, journalist and independent curator, and Antonello Tolve, theorist and art critic, has motivated their choice as follows:

“Matt Collishaw’s visual imaginary is multifaceted: his gaze examines art history and scrutinizes reality by staging it with such emphasis that often takes on dramatic and allegorical tones. The cornerstone of his research is basically his interest for quotes, which resolves in a journey across the territories of today’s visual culture, thus revealing universal and everlasting themes, such as beauty, violence and death”.

Refined and intellectual, Collishaw concentrates his poetics on the infinite perceptive possibilities of images, using various media such as photography, sculpture, video and environmental installations. A representative of the Young British Artists, Mat Collishaw introduces viewers into a visual, multi-perceptive and sensorial scenario in which life and death live side by side, as also do transience and vanitas seen as the artist’s reflections over the ephemeral condition of existence.

The Pino Pascali Museum Foudation will exhibit about twenty of the most significative works by Mat Collishaw, from 1998 to 2012, including photographs, videos, works in 3D and a great environmental installation especially realised for this occasion, which will change the perception of space in the central room by making it look sacred and mystical.

The majestic and virtual projection of Böcklin’s work Isle of the Dead tends to establish a mysterious and romantic relationship with The Hermit’s Island which can be seen at the other side of the glass door of the Museum.

The two islands, the first one is virtual and the other one is real, in the twofold view and interpretation of the artist, become the symbol of a timeless and borderless haven. In Collishaw’s video-installation the light goes from dusk to dawn, and never as in this occasion do nature and artifice face one another and communicate.

Moreover, time and light are key players in the other provocative video-installation ‘The end of Innocence’ dedicated to Velasquez’s famous portrait of Pope Innocence X and later re-interpreted by Francis Bacon.

It is a complex metalanguage operation which tends to highlight the strength of power veiled by anxiety.

The exhibition also includes other photographic works dedicated to vanitas and other tridimensional works such as ‘The idolator”, dedicated to J.B.Chardin.

The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Raucci Gallery/ Santamaria, Naples.