This work refers to the Francis Bacon and Velazquez portraits of Pope Innocent X.
The paintings perform as a conduit through which the Pope, the ambassador of God, appears. The presence of the Pope is impermanent in Collishaw’s film; he appears and disappears behind a constantly falling digital curtain.
This alludes to both the vertical curtain like trope in Bacons paintings and the digital rain effect made popular in the Matrix films which in turn refers to other states of being. In this projection, a perpetual digital rain through which the paintings of Velázquez and Bacon materialise and dissolve confronts the viewer.
The Pope exists in a digital twilight zone where he has discarded his physical state for an existence of interminable transience. Bacon seemed to take the Velazquez portrait and plug it into the electric grid. Now, in an age when everything is becoming rapidly digitalised, this work attempts to push this ethereal mirage into the nebulous world of micro computing and binary memory.
The image still exists but it has been pushed into another realm, past a Velázquez portrait of the spiritual surrogate, through a Bacon study of a reproduction of that painting, and into pixelated never-land, a return to it’s incorporeal being.