Kerstin Drechsel: Notes for a diary of dissidence

By MARTA MANTECÓN

Kerstin Drechsel’s archive of images forms a valuable diary of drawings that function as a reservoir of memory and a space of political agency with which to disarticulate certain clichés and stereotypes relating to binary constructions encoded from heteronormativity.

The artist questions rigid gender prescriptions, advocating instead a queer feminism that manifests itself in the activities that the protagonists of this series carry out (playing in a band, boxing, painting a wall or urinating), while affirming their identity in the public context, beyond any reductive binomial. The artist draws on activist culture to enable other ways of thinking about the body in its personal, social and affective dimension, proposing a whole repertoire of dissident behaviours with respect to the old norm that identifies behaviours labeled as masculine with men and feminine with women.Kerstin Drechsel dispenses with the line and constructs the forms only from patches of colour. Watercolour and gouache allow her to approach the pictorial gesture by playing with transparency or opacity and carrying out a chromatic gradation that helps to concentrate the gaze on the image, reinforcing its expressive value, which prevails over the merely descriptive.

 

Top image: Kerstin Drechsel by Colin Davison

KERSTIN DRECHSEL, Untitled (Feuerladies) from Dritte_Haut, 2020. Watercolour and gouache on paper, 24 x 32 cm. Courtesy of Vane
KERSTIN DRECHSEL, Untitled (Fledermaustuch) from Dritte_Haut, 2021. Watercolour and gouache on paper, 32 x 34 cm. Courtesy of Vane
KERSTIN DRECHSEL, Untitled (Fledermaustuch) from Dritte_Haut, 2021. Watercolour and gouache on paper, 32 x 34 cm. Courtesy of Vane