Alumna Nadja Verena Marcin '10 Featured in Three International Exhibits

Audrey Deng
October 03, 2019

Alumna Nadja Verena Marcin '10 currently has work in three international exhibits: the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken and zwanzigquadrameter in Germany, and the Humor House in Bulgaria.

German-born, Nadja Verena Marcin lives and works in New York, USA and NRW, Germany. In her performance-based work, Marcin examines the constructed persona, looking at the way the artist is an implicit figure. By creating a “theater of cinema” that the audience is immersed in, Marcin brings awareness through a hyperbolic interpretation of relatable scenarios, enacts symbolic actions, catalyzing the visibility of hidden codes. Her work appropriates familiar imagery and mirrors the ambiguities of human behavior and psychological mechanism.

A woman submerged in a tank.

The exhibit at the Stadt opens Sep. 27 at 7 pm, and features Marcin’s work OPHELIA. OPHELIA is an interdisciplinary performance presented as a live action film and then as a video installation. It reflects the man-made destruction of nature, referencing art, literature and science. Marcin will climb into an aquarium and try underwater to convey the text The Werld by Daniil Kharms, an absurdist writer who came of age during the Soviet era. "The reinterpretation of the image is not only able to dissolve its one-dimensional symbolism into various aspects, but also to reveal its underlying hidden hierarchical and ideological structures," says the artist. "OPHELIA draws a parallel between the historical speechlessness of women over male dominance and the speechlessness of society over the destruction of nature." In addition, the exhibition presents a collection of Marcin’s photography and video. The exhibit runs through Feb. 16, 2020.

The Dictator, by alumna Nadja Verena Marcin '10, at the zwanzigquadrameter, image courtesy of the artist

At the zwanzigquadrameter, Marcin has a solo exhibit for her work The Dictator. In this piece, Marcin re-enacts the The Great Dictator Speech (Los Angeles, 1940) by Charlie Chaplin. According to the gallery’s website, “Marcin's piece serves to examine leadership roles — including the one of the artist and the art world but opening that question to the audience. Who are we, where do we come from and what do we expect to see? What do we expect to be freed of?” The exhibit closes on Oct. 11, 2019.

In Bulgaria, Marcin’s work was part of the 24th Biennial of Humor and Satire Biennial at the House of Humor and Satire, which closed on Sep. 30, 2019. The Biennial began at the time of the Iron Curtain with the idea to throw a bridge between the artists from the East and the West. In an essay published by The New York Times, a writer describes the House and its Biennial as “a sort of window between two worlds. Every other year throughout the 1970s and ’80s a mix of illustrators, writers and cartoonists descended on Gabrovo, which for the length of the festivals hosted the Balkan equivalent of Woody Allen’s comedians’ table at the Carnegie Deli."

Woman in zero gravity inside a plane.

Marcin’s work has been presented internationally at: Abrons Art Center, New York; ZKM- Museum for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Zendai MOMA, Shanghai (Himalajas Museum); Museo National de Arte, La Paz; Veneto Videoart Archive, Verona; Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, and countless others.