07 June - 28 July 2012
|© Björn Braun|
60 x 61 x 3 cm
7 June - 28 July 2012
We are pleased to present the second solo exhibition by the artist Björn Braun, his first in our Berlin gallery.
Björn Braun´s artistic work develops out of a process of transformation: In a synthesis of appending and removing, the artist generates pictures, collages, objects and installations, which oscillate between natural formation and artificial shaping. Paper, wood, fibres, feathers or concrete constitute substances which Braun observes in different manifestations and subjects to a discourse rich in imagery, with the inclusion of literature, industrially produced textiles, processes observed or objects found in nature. In his recent work, the interaction between man, animal and nature has become more intense, resulting in the dissipation and creative transformation of complexes of actions and perspectives. Braun´s conceptually minimalistic visual language generates references to minimal art, which he subverts time and again with the use of "poor materials" and individualist gestures.
The front showroom features a series of nesting boxes, which the artist attached to the interior side of one of the load-bearing exterior walls of the gallery at various intervals. The nesting boxes are connected to the outside of the gallery through small drill holes, which equate entrance holes for the boxes, they function as sluices and interfaces between interior and exterior, but shield the birds from the gallery space through the occlusive box casing. In the gallery, the presence or absence of the birds is only perceivable through sound.
In a black-and-white film, Björn Braun makes the interaction between himself and a zebra finch the subject of the piece: the hand of the artist is shown offering the bird different straw-like materials. The fibres, lying on a white surface, produce almost graphic sequences. As the bird picks up several of the materials, the film hints at the bird´s activity: building a nest with the grasses or synthetic fibres it has been offered. But Braun´s bird-nests, which come about in this manner, exist only as a mental image.
The work positioned behind a supporting column, "untitled", vertically connects the floor and ceiling of the gallery. Constructed from a multitude of layered elevation benchmarks, it suggests infinitude, however, its measurement stays defined - and measurable - by the architectural boundaries of the room.
Along the wall that connects the individual rooms we are showing a sequence of concrete casts, which Björn Braun made based on different landscape paintings. The pastose paint texture of the paintings, which the artist acquired from antique stores, appears in the concrete cast only as trace, as a subtle reference to the painting, which the monochrome impression obscures, while the haptic aspect of the painting is emphasised. The horizontal format landscapes are juxtaposed with a vertical format cast of a still life.
The wall of the opposite, second showroom is subdivided into two sections by the work "Horizont": The directionality of the piece corresponds to the alignment of a sunset in Abbeville in France, the altitude of which Braun transferred to the gallery wall correspondingly. The horizontal line itself, which divides the wall surface, is the cast of an actual landscape, which Braun made from a patch of grass into a continual line out of concrete.
Tectonics and forensics also become the themes of Björn Braun´s work in a similar way in the rear showroom. The square concrete slabs, merged into a rectangular shape, had been laid out in the Karlsruhe zoo by the artist, so that they were tread upon by a peacock. The footprints of the animal remain as traces in the concrete plates, which formally recall the metallic squares of the minimalist sculptor Carl André, but transcend and update them through their almost archaeological modification.
Christina Irrgang translation by Zoe Claire Miller