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The exhibition The Ventriloquist is the first individual exhibition by Matthew Brannon at Office Baroque Gallery and the first individual gallery exhibition of th e artist in Belgium. Brannon has created a new body of works for The Ve ntriloquist including new sculpture\, letterpress prints\, wallpaper\, hand painted signs and collage.

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The exhibition features a radical compl exification of themes that have guided Brannon's oeuvre until today. For a first Brannon takes psychoanalysis\, of all themes the one that he has been obscuring and repressing most\, as a direct “narrative thread”. Many of Br annon's works are built around filmmakers\, writers\, or art directors\, th eir fates often dangling as an outcome of overspent creative energies. For The Ventriloquist they are played out against the position of the psychoana lyst\, causing an exponential growth of potential plots and questions raise d.

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Firmly rooted in his signature style letterpress prints\, in recent y ears Brannon has expanded his artistic practice to include painting\, sculp ture\, tapestry and collage and furthermore he has produced a limited numbe r of audio works. Brannon's work plays with notions of failure\, misfortune \, desire and emotional contradictions and features a monde of successful i ndividuals skyrocketing to creative heights\, crashing fatally as they are pushed into existential corners. To paraphrase Jan Tumlir\, anything that g ets in the way of productivity\; drinking\, sex\, fame\, jealousy\, guilt\, shame are made manifest in aesthetic form and substance. Satire\, fiction and reality interweave in props and images animated an reverted by text.

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The exhibition is structured over three different rooms. As one enters the first\, a large “sofa and chair” sculpture\, an iconic setting for an anal ysis session\, sets the whole show in motion. Entering the space in the cap acity of patient\, the sculpture throws the visitor backstage into an analy sts office where he/she enters the uncomfortable role of being a witness an d of being audience. From a wall decorated with diplomas\, hand painted sig ns describing dates\, events or actions\, lead into a champagne room with d ecorative wallpaper and collages. A third room is a painting gallery and in cludes an exit door to a coroner's office. Space and time become dynamic ca tegories. The narrative plot is held in place by four letterpress prints\, involving a documentary film maker who killed her husband and is responsibl e for her daughter's overdosing.

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On a second reading\, the show is divid ed in half\, starting in the present and aided by hand painted signs flips into the past tense. Brannon's work is characterized by the use both of cin ematic tricks (flashback\, the sudden take back of narrative into time\, th e use of subtitles)\, and of strategies and parameters of other disciplines (theater\, writing) introducing them into a fine art context. Many element s in the exhibition are visual double entendres. The exhibition underlines the importance of language and visual elements\, as a way to animate visual still lifes and take their meaning elsewhere. The “city posters”\, much li ke the “diplomas” are part of the exhibition's past tense\, referring to an earlier innocence/naivety\, an unattainable state\, in order to throw us a ll the more into a complex unresolved present.

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Throughout his practice\, Brannon typically and largely operates within “third tier” media as printi ng on paper\, tapestry or wallpaper. Within the exhibition\, Brannon seems to be reserving more and more territory for “first tier” media (oil paintin g\, sculpture) but wherever they appear they seem to be doing so in disguis e. Several oil paintings are props assisting the development of an action o r stage in a story\, sculptures are designed as stage sets\, with an illusi onist facade and visibly constructed backgrounds.

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With “The Ventriloquis t” we are left in the dark about the true identity of the ventriloquist and his dummies. One could draw a structuralist graph to determine these posit ions both within the exhibition\, within the larger framework of art produc tion and reception\, and within the framework of art and psychoanalysis\, a nd doing so\, define the position of the artist\, of the artworks and of th e spectator throughout the exhibition. But each of these positions could be interchangeable on a meta level if we follow Brannon's cue of adding the a nalyst to the story\, marking the positions of analyst and analysand both i n the center of the graph.

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Matthew Brannon is an American artist living and working in New York City. Born in 1971\, in St. Maries\, Idaho\, Branno n studied visual arts\, art theory and psychology at the University of Cali fornia\, Los Angeles and received a Masters of Fine Arts from Columbia Univ ersity in New York. Over 2010 and 2011\, he presented Reservations\, at Urs ula Blickle Stiftung\, Kraitchal\, Germany\, Mouse Trap\, Light Switch\, at the Museum M\, Leuven\, Belgium and a A question answered with a quote\, a t Portikus\, Frankfurt\, Germany a traveling exhibition with three adaptati ons. Other solo museum exhibitions include\; Where Were We\, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria\, New York and Try and Be Grateful\, Art Gallery of York University\, Toronto. Matthew Brannon has exhibited at Friedrich P etzel Gallery\, New York\, Gio Marconi Gallery\, Milan\, The Approach\, Lon don\, Casey Kaplan Gallery\, New York and David Kordansky Gallery in Los An geles among others.

DTEND:20121020 DTSTAMP:20140902T165127 DTSTART:20120909 GEO:50.8484055;4.3432246 LOCATION:Office Baroque\,Place du Jardin aux Fleurs 5 Bloemenhofplein \nBru ssels\, 1000 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Ventriloquist\, Matthew Brannon UID:225603 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20120909T183000 DTSTAMP:20140902T165128 DTSTART:20120909T163000 GEO:50.8484055;4.3432246 LOCATION:Office Baroque\,Place du Jardin aux Fleurs 5 Bloemenhofplein \nBru ssels\, 1000 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Ventriloquist\, Matthew Brannon UID:225604 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR