PressPierre Gervasoni
Art Press Magazine n°137
June 1989

“Jacques Braunstein has everything to retain attention. An original plastic work created away from tendencies and time. A legitimate inspiration drawn from the recollection of the Holocaust which carried his family off. A logic of creation which, while mixing opposite aesthetics, takes great advantage of the economy of means based on the meticulous use of some fetishes. In short, a passion that positively generates objects, stunnings victories of the spirit over the material.
His first Parisian exhibition mentioned a memorial. The area, shallow and low ceiling of the gallery, emphasized the oppressive feeling of a visit to a mastaba. The invariable use of the mirror behind the Christ-figure expressed an intentional dependence on the Other, to his personal aporia. The omnipotence of the memory was obviously conditioning the repetition of a gesture. From the essential level of the act to that, immediate conformation, Jacques Braunstein represented himself with the reproduction of a model mummie covered with cords of countless knots. It substantiated the body of the deportees coldly lined up as well as the members of the Last Supper, covered with a creased shroud but still appealing. Braunstein does not limit himself to establish a testimony, even enhanced with baroque colorfulness or post-modern detachment, he aims for the alienation of the eye. And deals, with this in mind, with the paradoxical collusion of materials (chicken’s legs and wax seals), shapes (the cord, half-way between the rosary and the barbwires) and references (a triumphant erudition relating to his own ego), in a virtuosity too continuous to be innocent. The danger of such a work is not that it disturbs but that it could not be perceived at all, by excess of stylization. That is what happened, but only once, with Psychose. Lilith, distorted and crowned with a crow doesn’t represent the human condition with a negative inclination anymore, but the dead decaying too far gone body of the Mother. The totem reduced to anecdotal terror”.