Mat Collishaw: Thresholds

Mat Collishaw Thresholds Somerset House

Go back in time to the dawn of photography with Thresholds, a new virtual reality artwork by Mat Collishaw.
Using the latest in VR technology, Thresholds will restage one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward’s School, Birmingham.

The experience will be a fully immersive portal to the past; walk freely throughout a digitally reconstructed room, and touch the bespoke vitrines, fixtures and mouldings; even the heat from a coal fire will be recreated. A soundscape for Thresholds includes the sound of demonstrations of the Chartist protesters who rioted in 1839 on the streets of Birmingham, and who can be glimpsed through the digital windows.

The original 19th-century exhibition, staged by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, celebrated cutting edge technological innovation. Unfortunately, Fox Talbot’s original images have faded almost beyond recognition with several of the surviving photographs existing only in light-proof vaults. Thresholds not only restages an important historical exhibition but provides a way to view images that have since been lost.


Duration 18 May 2017 - 11 June 2017
Times During Photo London: 18 May 12.00-20.30, 19 & 20 May 12.00-19.30, 21 May 12.00-18.30 Then: (22 May – 11 Jun) Sat – Tue 10.00-18.00 & Wed – Fri 11.00-20.00
Cost £4.50 /£3.50 concessions
Venue Somerset House
Address The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
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