With "Pierre Pierre," Matti Braun continues a search for traces which began in Senegal and Morocco. For his fourth solo exhibition at Esther Schipper, he has subjected the gallery architecture to fundamental modifications.
The backdrop for this presentation of new works consists of fluorescing walls and ceilings, which are rendered luminous by means of UV light. Natural daylight entering the gallery generates a constantly changing luminous atmosphere. The characteristic gallery parquet flooring has been covered by a layer of screed - Matti Braun has prepared his own ground for "Pierre Pierre."
For the first time the artist presents a group of works consisting of watercolors on raw silk and cotton which are framed in steel. The unique watercolors are hand-crafted by Matti Braun. They were produced by means of an experimental textile process, and represent a continuation of his Batiks, wall hangings, and Patolas, which - in contrast to the watercolors - are produced by using traditional techniques acquired by the artist as an autodidact.
With the 10-part series of black-and-white offset prints entitled "Pierre Pierre," Matti Braun juxtaposes a new work group against the color offset prints bearing the title "Pierre," which were exhibited already in 2009 at L'appartement 22, an independent exhibition space in Rabat (Morocco). "Pierre Pierre" features motifs having various origins. Once we realize that the photograph of an African mask used in "Pierre" was a poster motif for the first "Festival des Arts Nègres" in Dakar in 1966, it becomes clear that we are dealing with concrete references to Léopold Sédar Senghor, the lyric poet who was Senegal's first elected president, serving from 1960 to 1980. A number of stories concerning Senghor constitute a central vanishing point for the series "Pierre" and "Pierre Pierre." At times, the references contained in these images ramify to the point at which they begin to develop lives of their own. We also encounter highly personal documents related to Matti Braun, such as photographs of a beach, a treetop, or a marble floor that reflects colored light.
Visitors to "Pierre Pierre" enter a heterogeneous universe of images whose contents become accessible via the web of meanings that are engendered by their interrelationships. How do stories arise? Through the narration and the joining together of individual stories. Through his image collages, Matti Braun confronts us with this fragile process through which cultural meaning is produced, and at the same time takes a step backward. His image universe is too unstable to become productive, and too speculative to allow itself to be fixed into coherent contexts. This is left to us - in a space that embraces this desire for meaning, and which at the same time compels us to ask which intentions we are actually pursuing.
From May 21 - July 10, 2010 Matti Braun and Rudolf G. Smend are presenting historical Indonesian Batiks from the Rudolf G. Smend Collection (Zu Gast bei BQ: Matti Braun und Rudolf G. Smend, Eröffnung 20. Mai, 18-21 Uhr)
Matti Braun was born in Berlin-Spandau in 1968, and lives and works in Cologne. He studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig. Most recently, he presented the exhibition "Pierre" at L'Appartement 22 in Rabat, Morocco, and the solo exhibition "Kola" at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Vaduz. The exhibition "Özurfa" was shown in 2008 at both the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Museion in Bozen. That same year, Matti Braun presented a solo exhibition at BQ in Cologne, and in 2007 the exhibition "Lota" at Esther Schipper in Berlin. In September, Matti Braun will open a solo exhibition at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, and in December, another at the La Galerie in Noisy-le-Sec. In autumn, Matti Braun will participate in group exhibitions at Crédac in Ivry-sur-Seine and the Kunstverein in Nuremberg.
Published to accompany "Pierre Pierre" at Esther Schipper is a text by Jakob Vogel and an exhibition booklet.