#thank you for being an artist Kevin van Braak!
Gemma and Allesandra took us to the studio of Kevin van Braak situated on a industrial terrain in Arnhem as part of our Arte Util experience. I was incredibly impressed by the richness and layeredness of his works and projects. On his website he formulates this:
Kevin van Braak’s work is set around politically and ideologically problematic issues. In recent years, he turned his attention to the visibility and invisibility of the display of power in buildings, people, location, and artifacts and how our historical consciousness functions in relation to the history behind it. He is particularly interested in reproducing, restoring and transforming ideological images and metaphors through sculptures, installations, events and performances. It makes it possible for him to touch political and ideological sensibilities, and in his most recent projects also a personal story, to explain the histories of buildings, objects and contexts. Time tends to change events and how hard we try to keep the facts, the written and visual materials that witnesses to these events, seem to be subject to transformation. Through imitation, restoration, adaptation and transformation of these relics, he tries to give their historical development and (former) ideololgische features a voice through visualization and interpretation.
Why do I thank Kevin for being an artist?
At least 4 reasons of the many;
Kevin makes me look and understand history in a new way, embodied and critical.
Kevin values the makers, the doers. He clearly enjoys deep thinking and conversation but he also loves to DO. To make, to cook, to saw a Mercedes bus in half, to make banners, giant colloring-ins with dots, a PENTAGONAL ICOSITETRAHEDRON With a woodcarving on each side, real size models from dictator-furniture and so forth!That attitude makes me so happy and energetic. To not stay in the thinking, feeling, planning and contemplating mode but to get over the wobbly bridge of materializing and enter the joy of the doing and making.
Kevin is a generous collaborator. He collaborates and loves to give others space to take the project further. Often this is hugely helpful. Often the political and risky work artist do in fragile places and spaces is impossible without Kevin being in the middle. As mediator, as buffer, as translator and as offerer of support.
Kevin is chef! Eating together is a powerful way to share life, to ease in and open up. Kevin knows this and during many of his project he invites people to eat together. He also cooked us up a wonderfull Nasi Goreng in his foodtruck at his Studio.
At this moment this heartbreaking sculpture by Kevin van Braak is at the anningahof in Zwolle.