In his photographic and installation works, Steve Braun uses a pictorial symbolic language borrowed from ethnographic, ideological or religious contexts. Historically charged set pieces from cultural history become props for his dramatically staged still lifes. Detached from their usual sphere of activity, the entanglement of meaning and form manifested in the symbol shifts, creating a new attribution in the recurring pictorial element.
Steve Braun composes picture legends that go beyond the two-dimensional depiction to the objectivity of his motifs. He drapes, arranges, constructs and processes the objects, emphasizes their materiality and shows them as installations that take up the whole room. The distinction between sculptural examination and photographic strategy becomes blurred.
Steve Braun also operates across borders in his ongoing series “V-Mann”. He makes the aesthetics of punk culture his own by capturing scenes from his immediate environment in photographs, videos, installations and magazines. This is not so much a documentation as a testimony to his time. Steve Braun does not remain in the background as an observing outsider, but appears as a genuine part of the group. The resulting works are undisguised and direct.
Text: Carina Essl