Mat Collishaw, Other Criteria

Nothing makes you forget you’re not in New Cross faster than strolling around Green Park in pastel evening light; your senses not being divided between avoiding mystery-puddles and crushing chicken bones underfoot.

On an ordinary occasion, I would no doubt feel extremely estranged had I not been heading to Hirst’s (gallery, provokingly christened) Other Criteria on the 19th for the opening of Mat Collishaw’s exhibit. There’s something stubborn and eccentric about placing a space entitled Other Criteria in the heart of commercial London, even more apparent when you immediately peer into the window to see replications of the improvising hedonist’s plastic bong made of Murano glass: #HolyFuck vs. #GoodnessGracious

And an entire display of them in different colours too.

But pour moi, Collishaw’s Innercity Inhalers weren’t all that convincing, further to the obvious absurdity of crippled bongs immortalized in expensive Italian glass/its familiarity in the context of our pleasure-driven generation and the 21st century’s fragmented nature #EssayQuote Maybe there’s something I’m missing, thinking that successful art should be in equal parts aesthetic and conceptual… but they were anyway a thoughtful, melancholic observation about our time period.

What appeared to me more inviting, was the extension of his photographic series (printed on goatskin parchment – cue question marks) featuring an arrangement of requested food items prior to execution at an American prison. Collishaw goes all “17th century Vanitas painting” in his stylistic approach to the personification of people through their Last Meal On Death Row… “a manner traditionally used to reflect on the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death.” No, not exactly coffee-table conversation.

Mundane foods like a can of coca-cola and packet of crisps appeared simultaneously humble and poignant in that there seemed a distinct relationship between autonomous food choice and last-minute retrospection. Adolf Eichmann had only a single bottle of red wine #ClassAct

/E

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