The work of Kerstin Brätsch (Hamburg, 1979) – based on the study of the history of ancient and modern art – includes a range of different practices and interprets painting from a punk-rock perspective. Some of her works, mainly paintings on paper, or on polyester surfaces or resin film, are done using a process that involves the immersion of the support in glue basins in which the paint is poured and mixed. The work is therefore formed in a random manner, generating a series of unique pieces with gaudy colours and a marbled effect. In other works the artist uses digital technologies to reveal abstract images that distort reality in a highly refined way. An additional aspect of her artistic practice is the continuous involvement and collaboration with other artists which has led to the creation of hybrid works that oscillate between painting, sculpture, installation, design and performance. Solo shows have been devoted to her works by leading international institutions such as the following: Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2017); Serpentine Gallery, London (2016); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2011, with DAS INSTITUT); Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich (2011, with Adele Röder). She took part in the 54th Venice Biennale (2011, as DAS INSTITUT).
Since 2010 Kerstin Brätsch has worked with the sculptor Debo Eilers under the pseudonym of KAYA, a description of an artistic practice designed as open and performative space-time continuum, shared between Brätsch, Eilers and Kaya Serene, the daughter of childhood friends of Eilers and a source of inspiration of the pseudonym: Kaya Serene, their collaborator and co-creator, is the third element who enables the hybridisation between the practices of Brätsch and Eilers in a continuous transformation and mutual transgression.
KAYA’s House (2015) is a work that exemplifies the practice of the collective: a constantly evolving organism with a performative nature. After initially being installed at the Paramount Ranch in southern California, the house was exhibited at the Brandhorst Museum in Munich, where the students of the local Art Academy contributed to its further transformation. KAYA’s House has finally arrived at Madre where it has become part of the museum collection in the context of Per_forming a collection project, after being used as a stage, a true space-time continuum of debate and production, for the activities of the KAYA NAPOLI workshop which took place there before the work was opened to the public. The workshop’s activities include the gradual installation and tiling of “KAYA’s room”, but also the creation of additional artworks made by the participants – several students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples and student from the academic couse by the artist in Munich – at the workshop. By violating a rigid institutional approach, the presentation of the works within the museum space during the workshop took place in the private setting of Casa Morra-Archivio D’Arte Contemporanea, after a “procession” of the works and the artists through the historic sites of the city of Naples before reaching the Madre museum – the final exhibition premises –, reinforcing the performative and inclusive spirit of the work itself and Brätsch’s artistic practice.