Sunday, October 07, 2012

matti braun at the arnolfini

I love art and like to think I’ve got quite eclectic tastes.
Unfortunately, however, when it comes to art exhibitions at the Arnolfini, I frankly just don’t get them.
That’s not entirely true… there have been perhaps THREE exhibitions over the past nine years (ie. since we came to live in Bristol) that have struck some sort of chord with me. As far as the rest are concerned, I’m afraid it’s been a case of the “Emperor’s new clothes”. Perhaps I’m in a minority, but I yearn for a time when the Arnofini showcases more “accessible art” (maybe there’s something in its constitution that it insists on them focusing on the more obscure stuff?).
Well, I’m pleased to say (in my humble view!) that the latest exhibition IS worth seeing!
It’s called “Gost Log” and the exhibition opened yesterday (it runs until 6 January). It features a selection of work by Cologne-based artist Matti Braun from the last 15 years. Actually, for me, the key part of the exhibition features a “dark and shimmering lake” which takes over the whole of the central exhibition space and “can be crossed over by a meandering path of wooden logs, which invites the audience to become part of the scene”. It’s impressive and seems to provide a sense of wonder to all who experience the space. I’m afraid that most of the remainder of the exhibition “didn’t do it for me” (although some of the silk paintings were rather beguiling).
I’ll leave you with this extract from the Arnolfini’s exhibition guide – which might prove helpful in explaining a little more about the exhibition (or then again, if you’re anything like me, it’ll go completely “over your head”!):
"His delicate paintings on silk, prints, objects and installations are often based on stories and histories of specific people or ideas, but abstracts away from these into his own formal and conceptual explorations. Referring to different craft traditions, contemporary aesthetics, design and fashion, Braun’s work focuses on moments of intense exchange between global cultures.
His practice explores cultural misunderstandings and their impact on forms and ideas, elucidating social and aesthetic developments that may have been overlooked or buried. Following his research interests, Braun develops an eclectic and elaborate mesh of concepts that challenges conventional interpretations of Modernity.”
I hope that clarifies things!
Photo: Braun’s “dark and shimmering lake”.
PS: But it WAS brilliant to meet up with Dave+Tamsie(+Oscar+Hector)!


just Gai said...

Sounds about as inaccessible as some of the passages in the book we're reading! I saw the poster for this exhibition on our way home from the concert this evening and hoped I would be able to walk on the logs. If it's still on at the weekend I 'll pop in and see if I make any more sense of it that you did. Doubtful!

Arnolfini said...

Hi Bigdaddystevie,

We just wanted to thank you for this review.

In response to blog, we do have well informed staff in the galleries who look forward to answering questions and discussing the exhibition. Additional information is available through different reading materials. But most important is the exprience of seeing the exhibitions and events - and we're very happy receive feedback, that helps us to understand how people see what we do.

Arnolfini's overall aim is to create interesting connections between the regional context and international debates in culture and the arts. We're all about relations: bringing people from afar, but speaking about specific histories from the Bristol region - and inviting the regional audiences to join discussions about debates that help us to understand the world at large. To fulfill this function as a meeting point and space for ideas at the highest level of quality and for a wide range of audiences is one of the reasons Arnolfini receives funding from Arts Council England.

Arnolfini team