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04 Sep 2010

Matti Braun + Andrea Faciu at Kunstverein Braunschweig

F, 2009
Butterflies, silk, wood, glass
70,5 x 54,5 x 10 cm

Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin
Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul, 2009

Matti Braun. Salo
Andrea Faciu. Dreams and accomplices
Kunstverein Braunschweig


Opening hours:
Mo - Sun 11am - 17 pm, Thu 11 am - 20 pm Guided tours:
Thu 18 pm, Sun 14.30 pm

Sarah Frost
+49 -531-49556
+49 - 531-124737

Kunstverein Braunschweig
Lessingplatz 12
38100 Braunschweig

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Matti Braun

September 4–November 14, 2010

The Kunstverein Braunschweig is bringing the internationally acclaimed artist Matti Braun (*1968) back to Braunschweig, the site of his artistic roots. For in the early nineties, he studied at the Braunschweig College of Fine Arts. The exhibition, which can be viewed from September 4 to November 14, 2010, at the Haus Salve Hospes, includes spatial installations, objects, photographs, batiks, a video, and furniture.

The title of the exhibition is characteristic of Braun's artistic strategy of exploring cultural and intercultural contexts and reintegrating historical and personal truths. Salo implies several layers of meaning: in France, where at the end of the year parts of this exhibition will be presented, it has an insulting connotation; in Finland, which accounts for a part of Braun's biographical background, it means 'solitude' and is also the name of a town there. At the same time, it is the title of Pasolini's last film, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), which makes reference to events in the northern Italian city of Salò shortly before the end of World War II, which as the capital of the Mussolini's Italian Social Republic enjoyed ambivalent fame.

In Braun's oeuvre, perspectives are shifted and opened up, facts reassembled and in their combination filled with ambivalent meaning. Braun's works range from smaller objects that in part suggest folkloristic pieces, such as ceramics, batiks, or mouth-blown glass objects, to photography and space-consuming installations. His approach condenses for the most part heterogeneous facts, meanings, images, and forms into a complex network of associations in which each object, each of the materials used transcends itself. Parts of this is research in which he pursues historical, cultural, or biographical contexts that are joined together associatively. Braun's telling and assembling of individual 'stories' impressively present the development of history as a fragile process of the cultural production of meaning. In doing so, his associations are always consciously speculative and unstable, without fixing contexts.

The subject areas and materials presented in the exhibition in Braunschweig are equally as multifaceted. These include Indonesian batiks, archeological finds from Turkey, butterfly collections, and a room displaying burnished brass plates. Braun has the Gartensaal filled with centimeter-thick screed, and illuminates the phosphorescent paint on the wall with a black light, resulting in a surreal atmosphere. Another work is the ten-part series of black-and-white offset prints (Pierre, Pierre). It features motifs from different sources. The photograph of an African mask is a poster motif for the first Festival des Arts Nègres that took place in 1966 in Dakar and makes reference to the ambivalent character Léopold S. Senghor. As early as the thirties, Senghor, a lyricist and from 1960 to 1980 the first president to be elected in Senegal, had a formative influence on the world-wide movement of the so-called négritud, which is also exemplary of the diverse mutual and contradictory influences between Europe and Africa.

Matti Braun, born in 1968 in Berlin, lives and works in Cologne. He studied at the Städel School in Frankfurt am Main and at the Braunschweig College of Fine Arts, among others with Emil Cimiotti. The Buchhandlung Walther König is publishing a catalogue (German/French) in conjunction with the exhibition with contributions by Paola Jacoub, Sarah Frost, Marianne Lanavère, Abdellah Karroum, Jakob Vogel, Rudolph Smend, Mika Hannula, and Hilke Wagner. Beginning in December 2011, the Kunstverein Braunschweig is presenting Matti Braun within the scope of the German-French exchange project Thermostat at La Galerie—Centre d'Art Contemporain Noisy-le-Sec near Paris.

Andrea Faciu
Träume und Komplizen

September 4–November 14, 2010

The Kunstverein Braunschweig is presenting the exhibition Träume und Komplizen (Dreams and Accomplices) from September 4 to November 14, 2010, in the Remise. Andrea Faciu already enjoys international acclaim: at the last Biennale in Venice, she presented an installation in the Romanian Pavilion.

The Munich-based artist (*1977 in Bucharest) primarily creates installations using video and sound. Language is her preferred medium, which she implements playfully, poetically, insistingly, imploringly, or suggestively. The artist frequently stages sensory perceptions as mediators between the outside world and the Self, as subjective filters of the environment. In Touching the City she attempts to gauge an entire city, running her fingers over the surfaces. The artist examines visual perception haptically and by means of video leads it back to the level of the visual.

Andrea Faciu often produces auditory depictions of her world of thought accompanied by fragmentary and concentrated or repetitive images. Her voice creates a haunting intimacy. The quadraphonic sound piece Träume und Komplizen (2010) was produced in close collaboration with the composer Guillaume Blondeau for the exhibition in Braunschweig. It strings together associatively momentary sensations and shreds of thought, nightmarish or dream sequences of everyday noise and movie soundtracks suggestive of Dada. Erratic and fragmented and yet poetic, the work simulates mental automatisms, much like the stream of consciousness introduced by James Joyce in Ulysses. The exhibition space itself is submerged in a diffuse twilight: ceiling-high fixtures covered with a transparent nonwoven fabric muffle both the incidence of light as well as the sounds. The visitor is afforded the opportunity of completely immersing him- or herself in a different identity.

In the video loop Sketch for a Caught Vision (2010), stroboscope-like visual axes based on the artist's eye are displayed, a kind of contemporary interpretation of the 'visual ray theory' of antiquity, when vision was still considered an active gauging of the environment. The artist's view of the world, seen from another perspective.

At last year's Biennale in Venice, Andrea Faciu represented Romania with an installation: an interplay of clay and construed nature—a principle that will also be incorporated into the spatial conception in the Remise.

Träume und Komplizen is a dual exhibition whose second part can be viewed at Junge Kunst e.V. in Wolfsburg. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with contributions by Susanne Köhler and Katrin Meder as well as an interview with the artist by Angelika Nollert.