Filmstill "Riot Not Diet", Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Premiere: 2018
Filmstill "Riot Not Diet", Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Premiere: 2018

 

Dear visitors of my website,

Recently, a friend asked me on the phone "And what are you doing?" - I would have liked to say: "Art, what else ?!". Instead, be an excellent hostess for bacteria and viruses of all sorts, watch my new shower left-handed emerging, and pick gifts for our couple's advent calendar. All November I was excited about getting and packing, now I'm excited about unpacking.

After a turbulent and exciting year of art, this autumn winter behaves rather tentatively. It's time to work things up and tackle my new series of drawings. Back to the roots, so to speak. In addition, there will soon be a fine gloss in the BILDPUNKT of me again. The queer-feminist documentary Riots not Diets by Julia Fuhr Mann, in which I play one of the protagonists, celebrates its sneak preview in February 2018, followed by premieres in Germany and Europe.

 

Filmstill "Riot Not Diet", Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Premiere: 2018
Filmstill "Riot Not Diet", Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Premiere: 2018
Filmstill "Riot Not Diet", Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Premiere: 2018
Filmstill "Riot Not Diet", Director: Julia Fuhr Mann, Premiere: 2018

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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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As always with kind regards from outer space,

Yours Veronika Merklein

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REVIEW

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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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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'. (...)"

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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: