October 23, 2006 - The Showroom - Matti Braun (with Henrietta Hale) The Alien
October 23, 2006

Matti Braun (with Henrietta Hale) The Alien

Matti Braun (with Henrietta Hale)
The Alien

Laban Theatre, Creekside, Deptford
7 & 8 November 2006, 19.30hrs

Tickets available from Laban box office on
44 020 8469 9500

The Showroom is currently working with Laban, Europes leading contemporary dance conservatoire, on the presentation of The Alien: a new cross disciplinary work by Matti Braun that takes as its inspiration the storyboard of an unrealised screenplay by the acclaimed Indian film director Satyajit Ray.

In Rays The Alien, an extraterrestrial crash-lands its space ship into a lotus pond near a remote Bengali village; the space ship sinks beneath the lotus leaves, leaving only its tip sticking out above the water. The story then follows the reactions of the villagers and in particular a little boy, Haba, who befriends the Alien. The Alien plays a series of pranks upon the locals; the local priest interprets these as miracles and he convinces the villagers that the golden spire of the spacecraft is really a submerged temple. An unscrupulous businessman hatches a plan to drain the pond to reveal the supposed temple, but his plan fails and the Alien departs leaving confusion and consternation behind him.

Satyajit Ray was never able to realise The Alien as a film, even though he took the idea to Hollywood and came close to getting it produced with a cast that would have included Marlon Brando and Peter Sellers. Now Matti Braun has given The Alien a new form that Ray could probably not have imagined. Braun has reinterpreted the script, first as a gallery installation, then as series of shorter performances and now as a fully blown performance piece that includes theatrical tableaux, choreographed dance sequences, live musical score and a set designed by the artist. For the London debut, the costumes have been designed in collaboration with Hoxton Boutique, one of Londons most creative and innovative venues for fashion.

Matti Braun lives and works in Cologne. Solo exhibitions by the artist include Bunta Garbo at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, R.T. at The Showroom, London and S.R. at Kunstverein Freiburg. Recent group exhibitions include Love me or leave me, Kiasma, Helsinki, Rhinegold: Art from Cologne, Tate Liverpool and Tracer, Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam.

To coincide with the performances at Laban, Matti Braun will present a performative slide lecture at the Goethe-Institut London on 2 November at 19.30hrs, and Rays The Chess Players will be screened at the Greenwich Picturehouse on 14 November at 18.45hrs. For further information please contact Bridget Crone or Shama Khanna at the gallery on 020 8983 4115.

The Showroom is financially assisted by Arts Council England, The Moose Foundation for the Arts and the many members of the gallerys Friends Scheme.
The Alien is financially supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Charitable Foundation, Arts Council England Grants for Arts and Institut für Auslandsbezlehungen, with additional support from the Goethe Institut. The research and development phase of the project has been supported and presented by If I Cant Dance, I Dont Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution and by Project Art Centre, Dublin.

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