Matti Braun - LOTA
17.03.2007 – 21.04.2007
‘Lota’ is the title of Matti Braun’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. The main space is dominated by a strict atmosphere created by two textiles reaching from the ceiling to the floor. Their bold geometric patterns are kept in black and white – one consisting of vertical lines and the other of triangles. On a second view the patterns prove not to be totally perfect, the width of each stripe varying slightly, for example. A degree of imperfection is also present in a small freestanding wall made out of reinforced concrete, the only object occupying the space, and its zigzag shape corresponds to the pattern on the textiles.
Braun shies away from literal illustration of the different historical sources with which he juggles and his work takes the shape of a strong and partially abstract visual language. Often the points of departure – an extraordinary personality or a peculiar instance of cultural displacement – is blurred along the process as he combines it with other lines of thought and the work gains an autonomous form. He often pursues the mutations that occur when traditions, which are unlikely to match, meet by chance.
The serial yet handmade quality characterising the textiles is also found in the adjoining space where a row of hand-blown glass objects are presented. Made in different shades they are shaped like bubbles. Furthermore, a series of photographs documents the most recent performance of a theatre play by Braun entitled ‘The Alien’. It is based on a script written in 1967 by Satyajit Ray, and tells the story of an extra terrestrial being, the alien, who crash lands into a lotus pond close to a small Bengali village. As the alien causes confusion in the small village, the script points towards the conflicts that occur when change is imposed on a traditional way of living. The play was performed for the first time at Project Art Centre in Dublin in 2005. For each of the subsequent performances in Leiden, Bonn and London a new cast was assembled and the script was translated into the local language. Each photograph presents a total view of the set, that is kept in black and white and mainly consists of vertical stripes, framed by large, printed, symmetrically arranged textiles, related to the ones in the main space of the gallery. However, it is left open to the viewer to trace conceptual relationships between the different elements of the exhibition.
A poster designed by Braun and featuring The National Design University in Ahmedabad accompanies the exhibition. Braun has explored the format of the poster in several of his previous works, and the ones he designs for his exhibitions always form an integrated part rather than a supplement.
For further information and images please contact the gallery.