Archive for Kerstin Brätsch

Debo Eilers and Kerstin Brätsch, KAYA 2, Various Small Fires, Venice, March 24, 2012

Posted in reviews and commentary with tags , on March 25, 2012 by Carol Cheh

Kaya, left, with Debo Eilers boxed

I am still thinking about KAYA 2, last night’s revelatory performance at Various Small Fires. A close collaboration among New York–based artists Debo Eilers and Kerstin Brätsch and a 16-year-old girl known only as Kaya, KAYA 2 was nothing less than a total work of art, comprising painting, collage, sculpture, performance, social relations, and commerce in a complex explosion of dense energy with multiple levels of interaction among artists, audience, dealers, and buyers. It was chaotic to experience, but the strength and quality of the ideas at play linger long after the fact.

KAYA 2 was presented as a live painting performance and auction of the works produced. Yes, just a few of the art world’s most dreaded and despised genres, and this is where the genius starts. The event seemed to pander to the cheap and silly, but it instead drew energy from it that defied and transcended exploitation. Brätsch’s paintings command a pretty penny on the market, and there were, to put it very kindly, some pennysavers present who tried to leverage the situation to their advantage. They were roundly driven out, however, by the fluidity of the performance, which was improvisatory and ignored rules in favor of the integrity of the artists and their work. That is to say… no flipping allowed, assholes. Paintings went for $120 or less to art fans, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Inner-City Arts.

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