Edo

Matti Braun
March 13 – April 30, 1999
Edo, 1999
Wood, mirror, polystyrene balls
Five mirror cubes, one 165 x 40 x 170 cm, three 165 x 40 x 180 cm, one 165 x 40 x 190 cm 

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Edo, 1999
Wood, mirror, polystyrene balls
Five mirror cubes, one 165 x 40 x 170 cm, three 165 x 40 x 180 cm, one 165 x 40 x 190 cm 

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Edo, 1999
Wood, mirror, polystyrene balls
Five mirror cubes, one 165 x 40 x 170 cm, three 165 x 40 x 180 cm, one 165 x 40 x 190 cm 

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Edo, 1999
Wood, mirror, polystyrene balls
Five mirror cubes, one 165 x 40 x 170 cm, three 165 x 40 x 180 cm, one 165 x 40 x 190 cm 

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld

Original exhibtion invitation (recto) 

 

Yorozu Tetsugoro (1885-1927) 

Self Portrait with Red Eyes, 1912-13
Oil on canvas
60.7 x 45.5 cm 

Edo

Matti Braun
March 13 – April 30, 1999
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For several years Matti Braun has been dealing with images and figures of contemporary and cultural history that have been washed into completely different contexts by transaction processes, transmission errors or other irreconcilable cultural differences.

The exhibition Edo arose out of an interest in cultural transfer, which in this case resulted between the European avant-garde of the beginning of the 20th century on the one hand and the cultural opening begun in Japan at the end of the 19th century on the other. The simulation and imitation of the Western style were the creative and habitual parameters of the time around the turn of the century and were in conflict with traditional Japanese culture.

The exhibition itself consists of 5 human-high cuboids, mirrored on all sides, which are arranged quasi labyrinthically to each other. This sculptural metaphor of a Zen-Buddhist garden art is "awash" with small polystyrene balls reminiscent of cherry-blossom petals.

The well-known design works by Matti Braun, such as the fiberglass stools, are also an expression of a shift in positions of classical modernism and constructive misunderstandings in Finnish design. The same logic was applied to perhaps the best-known work to date, the artist's book Adolf Hitler-Installationen und Happenings, which was on view as part of the exhibition Deutschlandbilder.

 

The format of the "Invitation Poster" is an integral part of his work and comments or reflects on his respective thematic occupations and the associated exhibitions. For example, his contribution to an exhibition in the Nuremberg Kunsthalle was to design the invitation using images from the current use of the Nuremberg Reich Party Rally Grounds. On the picture, the filled grandstand could be seen during a car race held there with the dominant advertising slogans "Happy Ice Age" of the Schöller-Eiskrem company.

The figure of the invitation poster of this exhibition personifies this unfortunate misunderstanding and at the same time arouses misunderstandable expectations regarding the exhibition to be seen. But it is also an important prototypical reference point for the exhibition. It is a self-portrait of the artist Yoruzu Tetsugoro from 1913, an artist who was a practicing Zen Buddhist and at the same time very interested in the positions of the Western art avant-garde.

Another exhibition project deals with an absurd attempt by Arno Breker in the 1970s to create the figure of the legendary Senegalese president Sengor and its adequate visual implementation for a "monument of African liberation".


The typological interest in such absurd constellations and shifts in cultural parameters is perhaps Braun's core interest. In this exhibition, the mirroring and re-interpreting of persons and places of cultural significance perhaps experiences its most abstract and formal realization. 

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