Matti Braun

Cat. Kunstverein Heilbronn

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Matti Braun, Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Beth Citron
texts (English) by Parashuram, Beth Citron, Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Ranen Ghosh, Sudhir Kakar, Matthia Löbke, Amrita Shah, Santu Bag, Dip Ghosh, Soham Guha, Sami Ahmad Khan
160 p with 120 coloured illustrations
276 x 220 mm, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-310-9

39,80 €

The Alien

Beyond the work of Matti Braun, the book at hand focuses in particular on Bengali science fiction as well as aspects of modernism in India in the second half of the twentieth century. It has been developed in close cooperation with the co-editors Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, associate professor of global cultural studies in Oslo, and Beth Citron, a curator from New York specializing in modern art from South Asia.
Seeing Matti Braun’s batiks and silk paintings in the exhibition space, and how he presents historical saris in the same context, will provide an inkling of what it means that the artist examines unexpected, often little-known effects of intercultural dynamics, and reveals patterns of artistic migration and of cultural neglect. Here his enchantingly beautiful silk painting, which touches on Minimalism as well as Pop Art, there the historical fabrics of a traditional garment, a wrap-around skirt worn from India to Nepal and which to the wearer provides, in addition to festive occasions, almost superpractical possibilities in the daily life of subtropical countries, and which today is traded at auctions, and can be found mounted and framed as a picture in museums in Asia and Europe. The book at hand goes one step further and offers comprehensive insights into the associative network that has formed the basis of Matti Braun’s work in recent years. One aspect pertains to the story of the – never realized – film »The Alien« by Indian director and author Satyajit Ray, which he was supposed to produce for one of the big Hollywood studios in the mid-1960s. In 1982, Steven Spielberg presented the mega blockbuster »E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial« – and until today it appears to be controversial whether not he plagiarized Ray. Matti Braun does, however, continue this in a spectacular manner, because he is interested in the entire scenery that lies beyond it, and so, together with his co-editors Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay and Beth Citron, he ignites a veritable »Bengal fire« when they together reveal the early science fiction culture of the Indian subcontinent, the stories of the various magazines, authors and books, the effects on Bollywood and the political ambitions of the Indian space program: A truly exhilarating story!