Nadja Marcin performs at Middle Gate, GEEL ’13

Middle Gate Geel ‘13, Belgium, September 29- December 22, 2013.

Middle Gate Geel ’13 is an international art event, curated by a renowned curator Jan Hoet and exhibited at numerous historical locations throughout the city of Geel. The exhibition, displaying the work of more than fifty artists from around the world, tries to come to grips with the complex and multi-layered interaction between myths, psychiatry and the arts. Rather than pinpointing the differences, the exhibition undertakes to reveal the connections and links, commonplaces and parallels of these phenomena. The historic and present-day context of the city of Geel, world-famous for its unique psychiatric care system based on home nursing, adds an extra dimension to this exhibition, so much so that the interaction between Geel and this exhibition will be palpable and visible in every aspect.

Middle Gate Geel ‘13 concentrates on three main categories: myth, psychiatry, and art. More specifically, it sets out to analyse the mutual interaction between mythical or magic-religious art, outsider art and art-as-art, ignoring differences and focussing instead on connections and links, affinities and parallels with respect to these three phenomena. This exhibition wants to do more than just “compile” a number of works that somehow refer to the three main phenomena. It has no intention of providing clear-cut answers—it merely wants to disorder and disturb what we thought we knew. Through the combination of myths with psychiatry and art, this exhibition seeks to create a mental space capable of yielding insights about the assumption of what art is—or could be.

Middle Gate Geel ‘13 is obviously not the first exhibition that zooms in on the relationship between psychiatry, myths and art, yet through its intrinsic link with the city of Geel, it acquires a uniquely rich dimension. Geel’s “foster homes” have been welcoming psychiatric patients of the Public Psychiatric Nursing Centre (OPZ) ever since the 13th century. This integration has contributed to the inclusion of patients in families’ daily lives and in the city’s activities. Geel’s home nursing system still enjoys a special status in the field of caring for the mentally disturbed. The integration of psychiatric patients in families used to be frowned upon. Today, home nursing is considered a monument (so much so that the official psychiatric term is now “rehabilitation”). This approach has aroused interest the world over—even Michel Foucault wrote about it. Geel’s home nursing system is considered a valuable model with a special ethical value. Dialogues and shared experiences of patients and non-patients abound in Geel. Middle Gate Geel ‘13 capitalises on this context and attempts to continue and intensify this dialogue.

Participating artists: Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, Michaël Borremans, Mike Kelley, Nadja Verena Marcin, Jan Fabre, Agatha Snow, Bjarne Melgaard, Jan Fabre, Andy Hope 1930, Nancy Barton, Johnny Meese, Katie Heck, Jon Plypchuk, Paul Mc Carthy, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, David Hammons, Jan Fabre, Francis Picabia amongst others.

Zero Gravity


December 19th, 2013

532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel is proud to present the first U.S. solo show of performance artist Nadja Verena Marcin. This exhibition is held concurrently with the landmark fifth biennial of PERFORMA in New York City.

A highlight of the show will be the world premiere of Triple F, a video of a turbulent future society where the relationships of mind and body are out of control. Inspired by the 1976 science-fiction cult film Logan’s Run, Triple F explores a world ruled by three women through their thoughts. It was shot in Germany at the neo-Renaissance Rheda castle, ’70s shopping mall Marler Stern, and historical brewery Dortmunder U. Its production was supported by Film and Media Foundation NRW, Düsseldorf.

The 532 Gallery show will also feature Zero Gravity, a stunning piece of performance art that imaginatively combines art and science. Floating weightless in a plane over Florida, Marcin revisits Friedrich Nietzsche’s Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft, going beyond the assertion that “God is dead” to explore the deep emotional quality of the text: “What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward in any direction? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing?” Zero Gravity is a work of art that takes the audience to a new level of consciousness of both body and mind. It is sponsored by Aurora Aerospace, Florida,and WARP, Belgium.

Born in Germany, Marcin received her MFA from Columbia University, New York after graduating with honors from Academy of Fine Arts, Münster. Marcin’s creations are exhibited in museums, art spaces/galleries and distinguished collections worldwide. Her work has been selected for grants, global biennials and film festivals, including: Middle Gate Geel ‘13, Belgium, Kunsthuis Yellow Art, 2013; Coup de Ville, 2013 Belgium; VOLTA9, Basel, Switzerland 2013; Hudson Valley Contemporary Art Center, 2013; ZKM- Museum for Art and Media, 2012;  DAAD, New York, 2011;’Qui Vive?’ Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow MOMA, 2010; ARTWORKinternational, Inc. Grant, 2010; Salon/Screening, ICA Philadelphia, 2010; Uncontrollable Flesh, Berkley Art Museum, 2010; Short-Term Deviation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York; Kaunas Biennale, National Museum, 2009; Videonale 11& 10, Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Mediations Biennale, Poznan, 2008; Models of Self-Reflection, AZKM, Muenster, 2008; FIFA-Festival pour Film sur L’Art, Montreal, 2008; EJECT-Ex teresa arte actual, Mexico City; Fulbright Award, 2007; and Jumpnights, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, 2007