The Art of Ulu Braun
The many environmental transformations of our world pass us daily in a circular motion. Our use (and misuse) of products and overall consumption has become an involuntary action that follows a 24-hour course.
This circular view is literal when it comes to the artwork of Ulu Braun. His videos loop, as if you yourself were turning in circles, with images of people, animals, landscape, and the constant hustle and bustle of the world around us. For Braun, it is this constant movement that is “powered by climate and the environment yet remote-controlled by culture and the media”. Though political, social and cultural art tends to want to change your perception of a situation, all art is personal to the creator, and Braun’s work is no different.
“I would like my artwork to give an experience that science, politics and shopping can’t give,” states Ulu.
Policeman or Artist?
Braun was the youngest of six, born in Schongau in the south of Germany. Of all his siblings, he was the last one you might have expected to be an artist. The others became hippies, one a painter, another a photographer. Braun just wanted to be normal and even dreamed of becoming a policeman. But in his teens, he got in touch with his artistic side and became interested in graffiti and the audio dramas of German artist, Helge Schneider.
And though his roots are in Germany, he’s also lived a number of years in Vienna and Helsinki where he studied art and film. It was in these cities where he joined the group YKON and BitteBitteJaJa, artist collectives, each dedicated respectively to the advocacy of “unrepresented nations, experimental countries and utopian thinkers” and the collective works of Braun and his cohort, Roland Rauschmeier. It is in these experiences that he pronounces his desire to “work with a universal language”.
Included in this universality is the multi-disciplinary form of his making, often rotating between video and collage – a combination that has continued since his graduation from programs in painting and experimental film from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
A Story in Loop
It wasn’t until 2002, during his studies at Babelsberg Film University in Potsdam, Germany that his career started taking off with artwork exhibited in Germany, Austria, and Iceland. His time at Babelsberg was quite influential in his artwork as he began to envision his videos as art.