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Fabrica Gallery
Event organized by Fabrica Gallery

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£5 / £3.50 Concessions

“In plain English mate, I’m an art object and very, very expensive!”

"Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio (1986) is far from a straight-forward biopic: carnivalesque, experimental, non-linear and queer, it offers a reading of the power of Caravaggio’s images as much as it tells a story about his life and death, loves and crimes. In a register that is interlaced with poetry, Jarman recreates many of Caravaggio’s most famous works and conjures both his palette (warm blacks, browns, and dirty whites fill the screen) and his distinctive use of light. The screen is often split between painting and model, art and life, so that we are prompted to consider the space between them.

The film screening is one of a series of events presented by the University of Sussex, titled ‘Doubting Thomas’, in which we explore the variety of creative and critical responses to the work of the Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. We will pay particular attention to his painting ‘Incredulity of Saint Thomas’ (c. 1601–1602), which has bridged and left traces on literature, theories of reading and visual culture, museum studies and art history. In Caravaggio, at the mid-point or centre of the film, Caravaggio himself (Nigel Terry) is wounded in a fight with Ranuccio (Sean Bean): “in the wound, a question is answered; all art is against lived experience.” We expect, from the moment the wound is made, the resulting tableau; the size and location of the wound immediately recalls Caravaggio’s painting. What should we make of this identification of Caravaggio with Christ? This is a question that we invite you to join us in asking.

Caravaggio showcases the award-winning work of costume designer Sandy Powell; where Caravaggio himself painted biblical characters in contemporary costume, Jarman embeds further anachronisms in the film with the inclusion of typewriters, motorcycles and magazines. It is also the screen debut of both Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean, whose characters are tangled up in Caravaggio’s world and undergo tragic metamorphoses as a result.

The film will be introduced by Dr Niall Richardson of the University of Sussex, senior lecturer in film studies and author of The Queer Cinema of Derek Jarman (2009) and Trangressive Bodies: Representations in Film and Popular Culture (2010). This screening is presented by the University of Sussex in collaboration with Fabrica and Dreamland Cinema, with support from the Centre of Sexual Dissidence."


We recommend booking in advance for this event as places are limited.
Bookings can also be made in during gallery opening hours by speaking to a member of the gallery team or at Fabrica during office hours.
Once paid for, tickets are non-refundable.