Gost Log – Matti Braun let’s you walk on water

Posted filed underContemporary Art, Germany, Installations, Shows.


When firefighters got a call asking them to pump 20,000 litres of water at an art gallery, they may have expected to find a serious case of flooding when they arrived.

But the crews were actually needed to help create a work of art which, unusually, required the water to be pumped into the first floor of the building.

Now the only way to get about the room at Bristol’s Arnolfini arts centre is to walk on pieces of a 150-year-old tree, arranged in the water like stepping stones.

Matti Braun’s one-person exhibition at Arnolfini presents a selection of key works by the Cologne-based artist from the last fifteen years along with new works. Braun is interested in the transit of cultural forms and crafts between different traditions. His paintings, sculptures and installations reflect the way in which meaning changes in shifting contexts. His work is often based on concrete histories and stories of specific people and ideas, but abstracts away from these into his own formal and conceptual explorations. Following his research interests, Braun develops an eclectic and elaborate mesh of concepts that challenge conventional interpretations of Modernity.

The central work in the exhibition is “R.T/S.R./V.S.”, a project about an unrealised film by the renowned Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray entitled The Alien. While Ray’s film was eventually abandoned after negotiations with Hollywood producers, rumours say that the script became later the basis for Spielberg’s classic E.T. Braun recreated the opening scene of the film as a spatial environment – a dark and shimmering lake in the exhibition space, which can be crossed over via logs, cut from a Douglas fir at Westonbirt Arboretum.

There is also a series of talks, screenings and events to accompany the exhibition.

Read about the Westonbirt Douglas fir being felled on the BBC. See the journey of the tree here.

Watch the tree being felled at Westonbirt Arboretum on this blog page.
See pictures of the gallery being filled with water on the BBC.