Dear visitors of my website,
The chirping of crickets in front of your own window says that it is summertime, and when life stops wide open and you feel like having to stop what you think you have to do anyways, it's time for depth and a summer break.
In the recent issue of the magazine Austrian BILDPUNKT, is again a beautiful melancholic 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."
In August I was invited for the Tag der Sommerfrische in the picturesque village of Böhlen in the Thuringian Forest to hold a workshop on the topics of food, performance and body images. The two days were packed with a lot of exchange, exercises and theory and as a presentation, we then put together this Thuringian sausage eating-performance (see video below). Thanks to everyone involved and especially Johanna Hannemann and Dieter Lange for the invitation.
As always, with warm regards from the
Your Veronika Merklein
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). Past and upcoming screenings:
DOK.fest München // 7.5.2018 - Nominated in the category Student Award
XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin // 24.5.2018 - Prize in the category Best German Short Film
Edinburgh International Film Festival // 24.6.2018 - Nominated in the category Best Short Film
I am always happy to be part of art projects of friends. The photographer Kati Bruder has an article in the German magazine NEON (Stern) and they chose "my" pictures among others!
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):
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.
NEUE - Vorarlberger Zeitung, 15.3.2018, Author Lisa Kammann:
„Performance. Im Gang, gleich beim Eintritt in den Bregenzer Kunstraum, geht es um ein ernstes Thema: Die deutsche Künstlerin Veronika Merklein behandelt in der Performance-Dokumentation „Ich habe nichts gesagt“ in Form einer comic-artigen Fotostory das Thema sexueller Missbrauch. Weitere Arbeiten von Merklein, deren zentrales Material der eigene Körper ist, haben einen humorvollen Aspekt. In der Performance „Die Hard“ inszeniert sich die korpulente Künstlerin – in Anlehnung an den Actionfilm mit Bruce Willis – als heroische Actionfigur. Die Fotografie „Die Harder“ zeigt sie, am Boden liegend, mit einer Schusswunde am Bauch. Aus der Wunde quellen jedoch keine Gedärme, sondern Pommes, das Blut ist Ketchup.“
Vorarlberger Nachrichten, 3.3.2018, Author Veronika Fehle:
„In dieselbe Kerbe schlägt auch Veronika Merklein aus Deutschland. Auch ihr ist ihr Körper Mittel und Leinwand zugleich. Auch sie setzt sich mit dem Konsumverhalten auseinander, garniert das Ganze zudem mit ihrer Weiblichkeit und deckt so einengende Rollenmodelle und erdrückende Machtstrukturen auf. Das macht sie z. B., indem sie sich überdimensionale Brüste aus Pappmaché umschnallt, um daraus Sahne an die nichtsahnenden Passanten deutscher Innenstädte zu verteilen. Das macht sie aber auch, indem sie als Frau in die Rolle männlicher Actionhelden schlüpft.“
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."
Also I once again pounded out and wrote a text for the current BILDPUNKT edition "Class matters":
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'. (...)"
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
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.
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
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
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.
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:
Also, "Die Fabrikanten" made a nice interview with me about Performance Art. A big thanks their way: