Juliètte Jongma

Tim Braden

12 Jan - 08 Mar 2008

"I spend my evenings sitting by the fireside hunting tigers..."

Galerie Juliette Jongma proudly presents a solo exhibition by the English artist Tim Braden.

I Spend My Evenings Sitting By The Fireside Hunting Tigers is a fragment from a letter by Flaubert to a friend that describes the pleasure of reading and its power to transport.

Adventure stories allow our mind to travel into the world of the hero and visualize places and situations we have never physically entered. Braden seems to want to emulate, through visual language, the mechanics of the process of reading, in which the mind visualizes a place or character triggered by only a few words. Images such as popular illustrations or diagrams are used in this installation as hints of possible places or situations rather than as indexes or clarifications of a subject matter.

The gallery space has been turned into a kind of classroom, from a hand built school desk comes the sound of 1950s Adventure Radio plays; a library of books is also a sail training device. A wooden skeleton of a small powerboat is suspended from the ceiling. A model for understanding the solar system made using tennis balls stands in a corner of the space. The walls are covered with painted diagrams maps and chalkboard drawings and near the ceiling hang portraits of literary and personal heroes.

The classroom reference seems to be useful for the artist not only to bring into play elements of childhood or readership, but also to embrace everyday moments of curiosity as formative experiences. Armchair travel, stories and inaccurate memories of formal education are treated equally as part of a wholesome autodidactic adventure.

I Spend My Evenings Sitting By The Fireside Hunting Tigers deals with contemporary nostalgia in a reflective fashion – it exaggerates the abstract sense of longing involved to expose its underlying psychological mechanisms. Braden digs into the psyche of its protagonists: adventurers and oddballs, referring to romanticized characters from literature, adventure novels, anthropological studies and history books. The exhibition shows an interest in the converging of western abstractions of exotism and cultural expansionism into a universally distributed visual language, which is identified, broken up, and re-articulated. In this process, references to the low culture of pulp novel design and political-historical painting are collapsed into a personal, idiosyncratic vocabulary.

Tim Braden was an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam during 2005 and 2006. He had recent solo exhibitions at ARQUEBUSE in Geneva and at Timothy Taylor Gallery in London and was recently included in group exhibitions at Schloss Ringenberg in Germany and in “Le Nouveau Siècle” in the Van Loon Museum in Amsterdam. He has been short listed in 2007 for the Royal Stipend for Painting, for which his work was on view in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Forthcoming exhibitions include a group show at Johann Koenig, Berlin in April 2008.

Tags: Tim Braden, Al Taylor