KAYA V (KERSTIN BRÄTSCH / DEBO EILERS)
exhibition view at Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna
Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna
photos by ULI HOLZ
KAYA is an exhibition and performance series started by KERSTIN BRÄTSCH and DEBO EILERS in 2010 at 179 Canal in New York. Five years and four KAYA’s presentations later, the Viennese gallery Meyer Kainer is presenting the fifth iteration of the collaborative project between the two artists.
Entitled KAYA V, the installation at Meyer Kainer is a saturated landscape made of sculptural oil-on-Mylar paintings that BRÄTSCH and EILERS called Bodybags which are laid down on tables or hung up on the wall, a series of dark graffitis as well as two distinct sculptural works including hybridized black spades and large altered coins with the symbol 0f the Monnaie de Paris.
Despite the overwhelming profusion of forms, color, shapes and colliding surfaces, the infinite potential of the exhibition lies in the multi-layered entity of KAYA V which appears neither form nor definition but rather a third character in the process of the exhibition itself.
As a complement to this complexe virtual character, the press release provided by the gallery features a text revolving around the transformation of a male body into a new reality:
‘He was welcomed by machine-like silhouettes of an incomprehensible mechanics of permanent breathing cycles, a mesh of unreal colors, incomprehensible lines, cylinders, pendulums, tubes and bionic incubus apparatuses.
He immersed himself in a pulsating life of recurrent circulation.
Everything was filled with vapors of decay and cadaverous motion, which swung back and forth like a sword of Damocles in a hypnotic pendulum movement.
Infinitely slow, like a marionette he felt his way forward, not of his own accord, but going along, as it were, with the primal force of the pulsating cosmos that manifested itself around him.
It was as if he were part of an endless machine that was invariably drawing vital energy, deadening it, and delivering new life, filling all his senses, aligning his movements with the marching step of a shadowy procession that was accompanied by humming priests with strangely shaped tiaras on their heads. In the course of his initiation, they would introduce him to long forgotten mysteries and terrifying truths, willing to convey to him an understanding of wisdom as yet incomprehensible and intangible to him.
Universes of colors and shapes opened up around him, rushing towards him, burning themselves into his mind, and fully engulfing it.
With every step he felt his own existence dissolve, his sleep of death end. He knew that each step meant the passing of his old, petty life.
While around him priests mumbled a beguiling sing-song chant, shadowy beings mysteriously whirred around his head, hovered above and watched him furtively, he could make out in the twilight reliefs on the walls – the signs of an older, greater but infinitely alien wisdom that seemed impossible for him to decipher. Without being able to fully grasp them, he instinctively sensed that these signs, like the writing on the wall, heralded with fanfares the downfall of all traditional order and knowledge, screaming out into the cosmos the end of all culture known to him.
Soon he could no longer distinguish between himself and the outside, the bubbling and seething around him, he could feel how every further step meant a kind of dissolution. While unreal faces stared at him, tubes reached for him like tentacles, alien colors and signs flowed through him, permeating every last cell in his body, and shadowy priests tugged at him, the whole room seemed to wheel around him.
He was a machine, became part of a grand symphony of atomic chaos. Becoming initiated and, at once, victim, ghoulishly crawling, he moved closer to the center of the sanctuary while with every further step the throbbing and pounding grew into a cacophony of madness.
When he stepped into the innermost sanctum, he was no longer in space, no longer part of this world.
Here he found it
That which carried everything in itself
And that he himself was ____
➝ KAYA V (KERSTIN BRÄTSCH / DEBO EILERS) is on view at Galerie Meyer Kainer in Vienna until November 5, 2015.