Mat Collishaw: Thresholds

Using the latest in VR technology, Mat Collishaw restages at the Somerset House in London one of the world’s first major exhibitions of photography for contemporary audiences. 

Mat Collishaw, Thresholds, installation view, Somerset House, London, 2017
Thresholds is a new virtual reality artwork by Mat Collishaw. Using the latest in VR technology, the artist restages one of the world’s first major exhibitions of photography for contemporary audiences. Visitors will travel back in time to 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward’s School in Birmingham.

 

The experience is a fully immersive portal to the past; visitors can walk freely throughout a digitally reconstructed room, and are able to touch the bespoke vitrines, fixtures and mouldings; even the heat from a coal fire is recreated. Infrared sensors track visitors’ movements, creating ghostly avatars that indicate their position and enhance the feeling of travelling through time. Collishaw has also created a soundscape to accompany the exhibition: the demonstrations of the Chartist protesters who rioted in 1839 on the streets of Birmingham, and who can be glimpsed through the digital windows. Thresholds not only restages an important historical exhibition but provides a way to view images that have since been lost to the public.

Mat Collishaw, Thresholds, virtual visualisation. Courtesy the artist and VMI Studio
Mat Collishaw, Thresholds , virtual visualisation. Courtesy the artist and VMI Studio

until 11 June 2017
Mat Collishaw, Thresholds
Somerset House
Strand, London

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