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45 Gobos · Materials · Mat Collishaw

Deliverance

Collishaw developed a technique of projecting glass slides onto walls coated with phosphorescent paint. The images were burnt onto the walls and lingered for several minutes after each projection. He took photographs of children, either alone or carried by adults, running from the scene of some disaster.

These were based on scenes from the Beslan siege in 2004.

As the scene unfolded over several days, the media was given time to set up outside the school and broadcast a constantly updated stream of images around the world for our consumption.

It seems that witnessing humans in extreme distress stimulates our adrenalin levels. Collishaw suggests that it may be a vicarious response to the intensity of this suffering that makes us feel more alive and alert. The media exploits this, feeding us a never-ending catalogue of disaster to devour. As the last images fade on our retina a new one arrives to take its place.