When I first read about Natascha Stellmach’s exhibit at Wagner and Partner I thought it was another art related internet hoax. There has been some media confusion about the details of her controversial exhibit. Stellmach claims that she acquired the ashes of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and that she has used the remains as part of an installation, titled Set Me Free, that explores suicide and the power of desecration. The artist has stated that she plans to smoke a joint containing traces of Cobain’s cremated remains at a private location with a small group of people.
Earlier this year it was reported that Cobain's ashes had been stolen from the Los Angeles home of his widow. Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, now insists that the ashes were never stolen in the first place. Love has openly denied reports about Natascha Stellmach’s claim of having acquired the ashes of her late husband. Stellmach has not given reporters clear answers when questioned about the authenticity of the ashes and how she obtained them. She has stated that how she obtained the ashes is “confidential and kind of magic” and that she is “setting him(Kurt Cobain) free."
Natascha Stellmach has stated that the “smoking of the joint” will be a “burning away ritual” and that her goal is to symbolically "release Cobain from the media circus and into the ether.". It seems to me that the exact opposite is happening. I would go as far as to say that Stellmach is throwing Cobain-- regardless if the ashes are authentic or not-- back into the media spotlight. In that sense the artist has contradicted the intention of her work. Critics of the artist have stated that Stellmach is using Cobain’s name and the ‘story’ about the ashes in order to attract coverage for herself. What say you?
Is this story up in smoke? Or should we pass it around?
Link of Interest:
Take care, Stay true,