Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2016-17

(Brooklyn, NY)Nadja Verena Marcin


German-born artist Nadja Verena Marcin lives and works in New York. 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 can be 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. Marcin graduated from the Visual Art Department of New Genre, School of the Arts at Columbia University, New York in 2010, after obtaining a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Department of New Media at Academy of Fine Arts Münster. She has taught and lectured at P.I. Arts Center, New York, City College of New York and Brooklyn College. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Abrons Art Center, New York; Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; Human Resources, Los Angeles; ZKM- Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Middle Gate Geel’13, Belgium; Dortmunder Kunstverein; VOLTA 9, Basel; Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York amongst many others. She has received grants, residencies and prizes such as Fulbright Award; DAAD Grant; Int. Artist Career Development Grant, Artworks Int; Film Production Grant, NRW Film- und Medienstiftung; Prize for ‘Art and Language’, Kunststiftung Sparkasse UnnaKamen; ISCP residency; Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and Arbeitsstipendium, Kunststiftung Bonn.

Project Description

Nadja Verena Marcin’s OPHELIA will be an architectural performance both presented live and as video sculpture evoking questions of anthropocentric attitudes and actions that are resulting in human destruction of the biosphere. The artist will be reenacting Ophelia’s final moments—wearing an Ophelia-like dress, and a transparent breathing mask, the artist will appear dreamlike, quoting text from Daniil Kharms’ The Werld about human subjective perception. The final video-sculpture, an aquarium-like transparent sarcophagus, with video screens on its longer sides, will display footage of the live performance. The iconic artwork and text that have inspired and will inform this performance includes Ophelia (Millais, 1852) and Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Koons, 1985) and text from The Werld (Kharms, 1939).The image of Ophelia inside an advanced, constructed reality, kept alive through a mask and encircled by technology, will be a metaphor for the Anthropocene: “The human imprint on the planet has now become so large that it rivals some of the great forces of nature.”