Dear visitors of my website,

Life happens differently than you think. So some things were canceled at short notice, and new ones were added:
At the moment I am starting the autumn with a new performance: on 9.9.2019 at 8pm in the Galerie Michaela Stock.

 

 

OPENING PARTY with performance: Saturday, 7.9., 5 -10 pm
8.9. – 12.9. performance program with performance, lecture, talk

Duration of the exhibition: 7.9. - 31.10.2019

galerie michaela stock

Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna (AT)

 

 

Helen Carey, Director of Fire Station Artists' Studios / FSAS in Dublin was invited to curate the first edition of the performative exhibition series Capture Performance Focus / CPF in Vienna at galerie michaela stock in autumn 2019.

 

 

The project EMBODIMENT brings young Irish artists of the Fire Station Artists' Studios to Vienna in collaboration with Austrian artists. The exhibition highlights an inter-cultural dialogue. The central enquiry of the exhibition is around being in the world, and the different ways people inhabit space both conceptual and temporal, manifesting cultural differences and similarities. Ideas explored include how contemporary art explores the shifting of what might be stable ideas for nationality, for gender and how history and experience makes meaning fluid.

 

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At the end of July 2019, I accompanied Barbara Ungepflegt, the Federal Minister for Home Pollution and International Affairs, to her summer residence in Strombad Kritzendorf (AT). On July 28, 2019, she had office hours between 11 am-2 pm for the concerns of the population. Dirt recording logs were made by me as an assistant. Selfies with the minister could be made in designated locations.

 

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Meanwhile, however, two texts can already be read by me. Two follow in autumn. One on the online blogazine Curvect, in which I explain why high fashion fashion is not available in large sizes and what to do with hegemony, trauma and money.

 

 

In the other one, in "Bildpunkt", I write about why fathers have to give their daughters pepper spray on their way of life (only in German).

 

 

As always, with warm regards from the ether,
Your Veronika Merklein

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REVIEW

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Photo: Gallery Michaela Stock
Photo: Gallery Michaela Stock

 

About the exhibition PIN ME UP - TURN ME AROUND in der Galerie Michaela Stock (22.11.2018 - 19.1.2019)

PRESS: SUBOTA, Croatian newspaper, January 2019, Author: Patricia Kis


"Artistic struggle against stereotypes inspired by women's centerfold imagery (...) The German artist Veronika Merklein is herself the protagonist of her work on prejudice against overweight people. (...) Veronika Merklein, artist of the younger generation is one of the most interesting unknown authors in the exhibition, focusing on her personal history, showing her work from the series "Life-Long Weight-Gaining." Wearing a sash with this very inscription over a very tight golden dress. As a performance the artist stood
on a scale of chocolate for more than three hours until she finally slipped off of it (the documentation of this performance is shown on her website). On a daily basis she fights against prejudices and stereotypes towards fat people, such as eating unhealthily, eating only in fast food restaurants and how uncomfortable it is when other people judge you solely on the basis of your body, or the first impression."

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In November I spoke on a podium of the women's business network Sorority together with the documentary filmmaker Jennifer Rezny and 40 other impressive women about body norms in Vienna (AT).

 

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The queer-feminist documentary RIOT NOT DIET by Julia Fuhr Mann celebrated its preview on February 2nd, 2018 at the University of Television and Film in Munich (D). Prizes and nominations:

 

German Newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung", 08.-14.11.2018
German Newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung", 08.-14.11.2018

 

DOK.fest München, 2018 - Nominated in the category Student Award

XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin, 2018 - Prize in the category Best German Short Film

Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2018

China Women's Film Festival, 2018

Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage, 2018

Pink Panorama Luzern, 2018

Queer Film Festival Luxemburg, 2018

Pride House Glasgow, 2018

Grrl Haus Cinema, 2018

Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia, 2018

Bimovie, 2018

Mezipatra, Queer Film Festival Prague, 2018

Fringe!, 2018

Furora Film Festival, 2018

Kuir Fest, 2019

FIPADOC, 2019 - Nominated in the catagory New Talents

Elles Tournent, 2019

Rature Film Festival, 2019

Kinothek Asta Nielsen, 2019

Corvallis Queer Film Festival, 2019

Berlin Feminist Film Week, 2019

Internationale Kurzfilmwoche Regensburg, 2019

20min|max Kurzfilmfestival Ingolstadt, 2019

Athens International Film and Video Festival, 2019

Kyiv International Short Film Festival, 2019

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 2019

Dyke Drama Film Festival, 2019

 

Premiere of "Riot Not Diet" on 2.2.2018 at the University for Television and Film Munich, Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Photos: Angela Trakas
Premiere of "Riot Not Diet" on 2.2.2018 at the University for Television and Film Munich, Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Photos: Angela Trakas

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Past publications:

 

 

In a recent issue of the magazine Austrian BILDPUNKT, is again a  text by me on the topic "Criticism & Crisis". A small section as followed:

 

"If we can not stop, at least we want to rest. Life is just not zero or one. I myself watch dooomed to die flowers in vases. To circumcise them, to give them water, to arrange them and at it's best watch them flourish or just dying, that somehow makes me happy. Somehow we as human-beings are similar, only with more complex feelings. We are not afraid of dying but of mortality, we are not afraid about age, but about aging. From the age of 30 we nod benevolently, if we are considered younger. At the same time, mankind has never been older during its development than today. Around to escape withering, we exploit our exhausted bodies, the only territories that we can still control. (...)

You can say a lot, but understand nothing and instead of constantly contradicting each other,
maybe we should listen to each other. We still can understand even when we do not agree with
another. I have the quiet hope that we can come along in a heterogeneous society, because it is a matter of fact that we are neither immortal nor fully protected how much as we try."

 

 

Excerpt of the German article in English:

 

"Luckily, I was forced to spend the night next to Simon: Simon, who from our first meeting I only remembered as a snotty constantly active PR employee of an Austrian party. When he talked to me about my artistic activities, I reacted as always towards "unlikeables" with "body politics". To my surprise, my lean side-seater responded with interest. We continued the conversation and I got to know a secret from Simon which in medical terms is described as "morbidly adipose". Simon, otherwise privileged on most levels, was fat as a youngster. In the course of the conversation I learned that it was only when he starved himself to the state of fainting that he was suddenly been invited to parties and allowed to participate in social life. Simon has been able to renounce his social stigma as an archetypically good "Fatty". He paid his tribute and climbed the olymp of the "Alwaysslim". In contrast to the many "Bad Fatties" like me, who are outted herself as fat and alternatively do not die early enough as it is wittily sketched by Stacy Bias in '12 Archetypes of Good Fatties'. (...)"

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I am always happy to be part of art projects of friends. The photographer Kati Bruder has an article (2018) in the German magazine NEON (Stern) and they chose "my" pictures among others!

 

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Finally, the first German-language Fat Studies Reader (published by Lotte Rose and Friedrich Schorb) has been published and my work is represented in there. Big thanks to Kristina Kulicova and her self-titled article "Fette Kunst" (Fat Art):

 

Extracts from the article "Fette Kunst":

"Merklein's fat perspective is not just limited to the Fat Pig exhibition. Through her artistic work a central theme is the attempt to redefine the fat identity. As a fat person and through her works, she talks about her own experiences as well as about structural oppression of fat people (...) Her performances combine sensuality with politics, often with the help of humor and irony, they reveal struggles of people who have become victims of entrepreneurial, political and medical interventions because of their physical appearance. (...)

Unfortunately, too many, even art scientists, still claim that "Being Fat" is a purely individual and perceptional problem and accuse those artists of self-referentiality who use their own fat body as an artistic medium. This privatization of a social problem contributes to social inequality and marginalization of fat people. (...) Fat art is there to open the eyes to those who read fat bodies only as they were brought to them. And it is there to fill the hearts. It is a compensation for the lack of representation. It is a declaration of love, a protest, a call for mobilization and a therapy. It is personal and political, and it is fearless."

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Bildraum Bodensee, Bregenz (AT), 23.2. - 3.4.2018

The interaction and the emotional exchange between artists, artwork and beholders form a focus of artistic research. In a society shaped by distance, emotions are often pushed into privacy. In the Bildraum Bodensee six international artists deal with the phenomenon of emotionality in drawings, photographs, sculptures, videos and performances. Evelyn Loschy (AT), Marko Marković (HR), Veronika Merklein (DE), Sofie Muller (BE), Viktors Svikis (LV) and Marko Zink (AT) thematise taboo subjects such as fear, anger, grief, shame but also joy. Divergent positions on trauma, sexualisation, as well as sarcasm and humour, are the focus of Emotional Journey.

 

PRESS

 

 

NEUE - Vorarlberger Zeitung - Austrian newspaper

March 2018

Author: Lisa Kammann

 

"Performance. In the hallway, as soon as you enter the Kunstraum Bregenz, it's about a serious topic: The German artist Veronika Merklein deals with the subject of sexual abuse in the performance documentary "Ich did not say anything" in the form of a comic-like photo story. Further works by Merklein, whose central material is her own body, have a humorous aspect. In the performance "Die Hard", the stout artist - inspired by the action film with Bruce Willis - stages herself as a heroic action figure. The photograph "The Harder" shows her, lying on the ground, with a bullet wound on her stomach. From the wound, however, do not swell guts, but chips, the blood is ketchup."

 

Vorarlberger Nachrichten - Austrian newspaper

March 2018

Author: Veronika Fehle

 

"Veronika Merklein from Germany is also in the same vein. Her body is her medium and canvas at the same time. She deals with consumer behavior, garnished with her femininity, revealing restrictive role models and crushing power structures. She converts that e.g. by strapping on oversized breasts made of paper mache, in order to distribute cream to the unsuspecting passers-by of German inner cities. But she also does that by becoming a woman in the role of male action heroes."

 

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The documentation of my solo show DIE HARD which ended in May 2017 you are going to find here.

 

 

"...the last thing [Merklein] wants is to be a heroine, 

but [she] doesn't have a choice." 

 

 

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Our trailer of our performance lecture dance kind-of-thing in three parts "The Inefficient Body - Anti-Capitalist Strategy, a Conference" of November 2016 is ready to watch. Enjoy!

 

 

 

With stoic presence and careless pride Veronika Merklein embodies in rigorous movements the apparent aimlessness. In her solitary and decapitating contribution she aborts meanings, creates debts and gaps, and indulges herself and the audiences in the zones of discomfort while disregarding any desire for a profitable encounter. She devalues size and weight with lightness of her own and successfully markets anxiety as the next thing to disconnect from your inner self." 

 

Text: Milan Loviška 

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Photo: Monika Sobczak
Photo: Monika Sobczak

I am overjoyed about the PAS - Performance Art Studies as my first teaching experience in the gallery Stock here in Vienna, including my lecture "I am not a Performance Artist" which provoked a lot of discussion. I thank Johannes, Monika, Matthias, Michael, Burcak, Amelia, Carmen, Antje, Felipe, Zarko, Roberta, Elisa and last but not least thanks a lot to Michaela Stock for the wonderful Dopust - Days of Open Performance - Festival. What's more, I am more than happy that I will be a guest at the PAS #49 I neighboorhood in Bratislava in September 2016, too.

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My documentary video "Life-Long Weight Gaining" was selected and shown by Virgie Tovar end of June 2016 with four other wonderful films at the film screening

Lose Hate Not Weight: Fat Positive Short Films.

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With my grandiose fellow activists Bobby Be (Austrian plus-size platform CURVECT) and "Venus-in-echt"-author Rhea Rhea Krcmárová we have launched CurVienna in 2016 and on April 24th we had our first major plus-size fashion event realized. We are very proud that we were announced widely by Austrian media:

Our documentation incl. download file is now on our website. Here you find find the interview with Bobby and me at the Austrian radio station FM4: https://soundcloud.com/veronika-merklein/curvienna-fm4mp3

We are also nominated for a prize. You can vote for us soon. Stay tuned!

Also Virgie Tovar who was speaker at our CurVienna talk, has written down her impressions in Take The Cake: Fat Babes In Vienna

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In addition, the first part "The beautiful and brutal (inner) life of people" of a very long interview is published on Curvect  published. This time it's about my art, the next times we will focus on Body Positivity and the relationship to one's own body. Yet, the interview is only in German but will be translated soon.

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What's more, my performance "erdbeermilch" is part of the "Hotel Obscura"- documentary (18min, director: Anatol Bogendorfer, curated by Die Fabrikanten) which was shown at the Crossing Europe-Festival in Linz (AT) in April, 2016:

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 Also, "Die Fabrikanten" made a nice interview with me about Performance Art. A big thanks their way: