Exhibition series SALON REAL / VIRTUAL

5# Veronika Merklein I DER WUNDE PUNKT (THE SORE SPOT)

12.2. – 18.3.2021

opening: Friday, 12.2., 3 – 8 pm Timeslot every 15 minutes / come-and-go

FIRESIDE CHATS 2 prerecorded fireside chats with Veronika Merklein will take place.

1_Talking with Anna Mendelsohn, performer and psychotherapist in training under supervision:  “Speaking about the unspeakable” 2_Talking with Bernadette Anzengruber, artist: “The porous body in virtual space”

WHERE: galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna

The fifth exhibition series of Salon Real / Virtual shows works of the young performance artist Veronika Merklein. In the solo exhibition designed for the real and virtual gallery under the title Der wunde Punkt (The Sore Spot), the artist focuses on silent pain and quietly scratching on the bottom of nightmarish life events, depressing emotional intensity and mute conversations with one another. Veronika Merklein’s work is always personal, but not necessarily autobiographical. Using imagery and poetic language, the artist shows a sober understanding of a situation that cannot be changed. Her strategy is to capture unspeakable personal, social and political problems in ways ranging from humorous to painful, and to make them visible and speak for those people who are incapable of doing so at this moment. These works initiate a sequence of return (recollection), liberation (imagination) and reinvention (storytelling).

For SALON VIRTUAL, the virtual exhibition space of galerie michaela stock, Veronika Merklein has compiled both never-before-exhibited and new works from the last 12 years (2009-2021). Veronika Merklein uses the virtual gallery space to newly contextualize her art; many of the works shown are of a performative, temporary and ephemeral nature, which in some form move along the interface between image and text. The artist uses 3D simulations to experience the documentation of the performances shown for a second time, in completely new way. A still life performance, for example, is brought back into a plastic space, typefaces float in the room like a hallucination and the 5-meter-high ochre-colored walls seem oppressive and give the exhibit an even greater sense of urgency. The photo series Sitting in the Closet, or The Silent Neighbor and drawings of the series Phlegma Loop are only a few of the “sore spots” of our society that are shown. Suicide on a smiley balloon or an anthropomorphous body lying in a neglected apartment show how Merklein uses her own body both as a subject and as an object in the works of art and how it even gets forced out in the end.

In SALON REAL, a small selection of these works is presented. The “beautiful appearance” in the idyllic real salon of the gallery is broken and invites visitors to discussions.

Curriculum Vitae Born in Germany in 1982, Veronika Merklein lives and works mainly in Vienna (AT). As an artist she works within a variety of media with a focus on performance art. Her art revolves around topics inherent in performance art, pop-cultural phenomena and the “pure, brutal (inner) life of human beings”. Starting with her own body, she has examined body politics as a focus of her art since 2012.

Veronika Merklein enjoyed her artistic education at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the School of Art and Design Kassel. She presented her artwork among others at the Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago (US), at “Neuer Kunstverein Wien”, Vienna (AT), Kaskadenkondensator, Basel (CH), Fridericianum, Kassel (D), Secession, Vienna (AT), Kiasma, Helsinki (FI) and from time to time at home. Veronika Merklein received scholarships i.a. of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York City, Austrian Chancellary, Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture, Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Guided tour gallery visit on request A Guided Tour with Veronika Merklein through the Salon Real / Virtual can be booked with the gallery owner Michaela Stock. Appointments can be made by phone +43 699 19 20 77 78. The virtual exhibition is documented in the form of printed information brochures. At the same time, art lovers can purchase a limited signed art poster for € 20,-

SALON REAL / VIRTUAL new gallery concept: real vs virtual The focus is on a new perception of the exhibition space and the artwork displayed, interlocking of the real and virtual worlds and their combination of acoustic, visual and haptic stimuli. The goal is to dock the real world more strongly and actively at the interface to the virtual world in order to set new approaches and work processes in motion and in this way to further develop interactive media art, and to have a stronger interdisciplinary approach to contemporary art, both in theory and in production. Fireside chats with experts from various disciplines complete the virtual exhibition.