NGV Triennial

Matt Copson
Death, again



Death, again 2019 is a laser animation which uses a mechanical projector – like those used in nightclubs and music concerts – refracting a highly-concentrated beam of a laser with mirrors. Copson reflects: ‘I became fascinated with the form after seeing videos of Pink Floyd concerts that used early versions of the form and saw its potential as a visceral and sculptural medium.’

This piece was specifically inspired by Hans Holbein’s The Ambassadors at the National Gallery, London. ‘I was always enthralled by the painting as a child because of the hidden optical illusion of a distorted skull. In the painting it acts as a hidden, subversive symbol and I wanted to make the skull a protagonist, warping in and out of figuration and total abstraction, the anatomical to the monstrous,’ said Copson. The piece also makes reference to the 17th century Dutch mode of painting called ‘vanitas’– still life works often featuring the human skull, with the explicit symbolic purpose of reminding the viewer of their own mortality.

Matt Copson graduated in 2014 from London’s Slade School of Fine Art. A rising figure of the British art scene, he has presented his work in the context of both solo and collective exhibitions in England and internationally in locations including Paris, Milan, Dublin and the UAE. In 2017, Copson participated in the 89+ residency at the Paris Google Cultural Institute. He was the recipient of a New Contemporaries studio bursary at Space (London) in 2015. Copson was also recently awarded the Kaissering Stipendiat 2018 at the Monchehaus Museum, Goslar.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Christopher Thomas AM & Cheryl Thomas, Triennial Lead Supporters Michael & Emily Tong and 2019 NGV Curatorial Tour donors for their support.