V.S.

Matti Braun
September 12 – October 31, 2003
V.S., 2003
Tree discs, pond, water
Dimensions variable (30 - 500 sqm)

Photo © Howard Sheronas
V.S., 2003
Tree discs, pond, water
Dimensions variable (30 - 500 sqm)

Photo © Howard Sheronas
V.S., 2003
Tree discs, pond, water
Dimensions variable (30 - 500 sqm)

Photo © Howard Sheronas

Original exhibition invitation

V.S.

Matti Braun
Schipper & Krome, Berlin
September 12 – October 31, 2003
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V.S. is the third and final part of an exhibition trilogy, the other two parts of which were shown at The Showroom, London (R.T.), and at the Kunstverein Freiburg (S.R.) earlier in 2003.

 

Three characters, filmmaker Satyajit Ray, scientist Vikram Sarabhai and writer Rabindranath Tagore, are the protagonists of a little epic Braun has trained his sights on lately. It is a scenario of utopian ideas, a thought exchange about the motives of the alien, shaping the future, genuine politico-cultural topics. Vikram Sarabhai, whose initials the title of this exhibition stand for, can be regarded as the father of the Indian missile programme and satellite technology, whose civil intentions are not to be questioned, a refined radical modernist who counted Corbusier, John Cage, and later John Baldessari among his acquaintances. He was the techno-cultural spiritual father of the actual inventor of "E.T.", Ray (who lends his name to the title of the Freiburg exhibition).

 

The occupation with a Science Fiction script by Indian filmmaker Ray never turned into a film, "The Alien", forms the background for the three exhibitions. After thirty hopeless years of trying to realise the film, Steven Spielberg made "E.T.", which explored the phenomenon of the alien in a rather populist, but commercially extremely successful way.

 

In Ray's script, a lake is the location where an alien lands, rather involuntarily, since his rocket breaks and plunges into the water and sinks until only its golden top is left to see. It is a string of ideational values in the centre of which Braun places Ray's "Alien". As a key visual of the script, the lake connects the manifold relations within a selective historic-cultural set-up which Braun has been fascinated with over several months. The floor of the exhibition space has been turned into a lake with a black, reflecting surface, with some tree cookies placed at seemingly random order that can be walked on following no given path. The lake can be seen - and walked on - as reflection, foyer and projection surface.

 

Most of Matti Braun's installations and objects are highly abstracted visualisations, in this case of visual key stimuli described in the script. 

 

For most of his exhibitions Braun designs a thematic poster, like a film poster of programmatic character. In this case the poster features the first Indian satellite developed by Vikram Sarabhai.

 

The way the works on display in the adjoining showroom are linked to the main piece is being kept open deliberately, although conceptual relations do exist.

 

The textile prints, the so-called Patolas, are of special importance: Like many objects and procedures of interest to Braun, the once luxurious Patola fabric - in a way the epitome of traditional Indian textile manufacture - and its production were of an almost ritual character, enriched with symbolic values. Due to the extremely extravagant production method, according to which every single thread had to be dyed before being woven into complicated patterns, eventually the Patola fabric was imitated, using much more mediocre manufacture procedures. The element of imitation and transformation of objects deeply rooted in cultural history, one of the key interests of Matti Braun, is carried to the extremes in his own "Patolas", screen-prints of patterns designed and partly hand-painted by himself.

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