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Detail from Maria VMier »Ohne Titel [gelb, orange, scharlach, blauviolett, grüne erde, ultramarin dunkel]«, 2020
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Kristina Schmidt »For Maria VMier«, review with song for Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020
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Kristina Schmidt »For Maria VMier«, review with song for Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020
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Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020
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Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020

For Maria VMier

October 18, 2020
Text by Kristina Schmidt
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Detail from Maria VMier »Ohne Titel [gelb, orange, scharlach, blauviolett, grüne erde, ultramarin dunkel]«, 2020

»I open my mouth as wide as I can and say Ahh.« From remote NYC, Kristina Schmidt wrote a review of her friend Maria VMier’s exhibition »Zungen« at the Artothek Munich.

I am watching your fight from a different continent: working your way up ciphers and calligraphy into large formats. Stacks of paper in the studio, hundreds of letters, brush marks on white sheets. A free fall from disorientation into the surface, dive in, leaving a vortex behind you. Staying with the trouble, don’t duck away! The world, in crisis, and we – exceptional ignorant creatures. Painting – of all things abstract painting, without having any interest in formalism and not giving a hoot about the history of painting and beauty as a value-generating moment? Your paintings build themselves up into a pyramid and yell into the audience: Let’s go!

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Kristina Schmidt »For Maria VMier«, review with song for Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020

Cheerleading is an activity in which the participants cheer for their team as a form of encouragement. »Welcome to the Squad« – you’ll find components of tumbling, dancing, jumping, cheering and stunting, as well as different role models for each individual cheerleader, collectively forming complex formations. Cheering for the team’s spirit and the fan’s enthusiasm creates a sport of its own – a sport inside a sport, somehow self-referential and simultaneously reminiscent of painting. A good introduction.

Lips lick my tongue
clit lips, my song
touch lits my fun
eat me
drink me
make me
end me

I like the sexy parts in your writings. A resolute autoeroticism.

All the girls stamp your feet like this

I’ve read that Gwen Stefani wrote Hollaback Girl after Courtney Love had called her a »cheerleader«. A Hollaback Girl is a person responding appreciatively to unsolicited compliments (»cat calls«).

Few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
‘Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl
This my shit, this my shit
This my shit, this my shit
This my shit, this my shit
This my shit, this my shit

I once positively reacted to your encouragement, which was kind of totally requested, since you accepted the invitation to visit my studio. »Krissi, I think these paintings are really good. Keep going, don’t care if nobody sees you, carry on until someone eventually does see you!« You’d buy me an ice-cold drink at Tip-Top Bar on Franklin Street, right next to the mural depicting Ol ’Dirty Bastards Food Stamp Card. Sitting on our bar stools, we sip slowly. Our sweat dries in the icy AC’s breeze, my elbows stick to drink residues on the countertop, our eyes follow the slow movement of the wall clock’s minute hand, its dial adorned with a portrait of Barack Obama.

Ich beuge mich weit hinüber. Ich hole aus.
Ich ziehe Linien ins Chaos der Geister.

Hey Maria, when you transform shapes from the world of the unknown into the visible world, are you a psychic?
NAAAAAAH!

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Kristina Schmidt »For Maria VMier«, review with song for Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020

Caution, an abrupt and inspiring anecdote: on the morning of January 1st, 2019 at the Polar Bear Plunge in Coney Island; a legendary benefit event, thousands of sea monsters storm into the Atlantic Ocean, holding hands. I see myself from above – in a swimsuit, wearing neoprene shoes on my sensitive feet and restrained between hundreds of bodies on the freezing sand. A marching band is playing, the icy wind transforms the shrill trumpets and drums into a noisy, diffusing wave. I swing along cautiously at first, then start shaking, up and down, clapping, forcing eye and body contact with strangers around me, loudly demanding the clearance of the beach section and finally, screaming frenetically, I lose myself in the moment; I run into the waves. I stumble into the ocean spray, fall and dive in with my face first, I swallow a good sip of seawater and fight myself back up to the surface between a Neptune, a leather dog-woman and the Metro-Card-Man. I feel hot. My cheeks are glowing.

Once again, an abrupt and dumbfounding anecdote: Wolfgang Ullrich’s »Believe in Art« sits on my bookshelf, unread. It’s one of the items I brought to New York for no reason, in a suitcase about to burst. I read into it and immediately came across a story of Julius Langbehn, aka »The Rembrandt German«, a culture-pessimistic and outspoken anti-Semite, who assisted his confidante, Momme Nissen in 1903 in portraying Pope Leo XIII in his last year of life. Both men observed the 93-year-old holding an audience and while Nissen paints, Langbehn holds the painting board, hands over what Nissen needs and cautiously whispers advice to him. After the work is finished, both speak with the Holy Father, they receive his blessing and eagerly announce »Je suis converti«. Leo, lively and joyously, comments »Ah Bravo«. Somehow, Langbehn is a cheerleader for the painter Nissen and for Rembrandt, whom he, in his main book, celebrates as a therapeutic leader of a cultural community hungry for national and spiritual identity.

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Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020

Maria von Mier: »I will be at my exhibition ›Tongues‹ tomorrow between approx. 11am and 2pm. Let me know if you want to come by«. A photo shows a person sitting on one of the tongues. Another tongue-sculpture is photographed from above for the second picture. I can see this channel dividing the purple seating area into two narrow halves schmoozing each other. A handful of glass marbles sit in the gouge. I can’t differ between the beginning and the end of the bench and I don’t know in which direction the marbles move. I think of Globoli and these dogs with blue tongues and the tongue painter Chupa Chup lollipops. Now, in the summer heat, visitors may be wearing shorts or dresses and the marbles may be sticking to their thighs. Sitting on a stranger’s tongue in street clothes is a bit like turning a glass upside down on the uncleaned kitchen counter after washing it. Foreign tongues – the Bible mentions a xenoglossic event: supposedly, the apostles and their companions were filled by the Holy Spirit while attending a weekly festival in the city. Folks from different regions overheard them speak in their own languages. Maria says that this is usually represented by a tongue of fire over the apostle’s heads. I think I remember a painting in the Alte Pinakothek.

AAAAAAhhhh
EEEEEEhhhh
IIIIIIIIIhhhhh
OOOOOhhhh
UUUUUhhhh


You don’t even need a tongue to form vowels. Let me give it a shot. I roll the tip of my tongue all the way to the back of my oral cavity. The side parts roll up automatically. My tongue feels huge, a bit numb on the top and along the hem and super smooth at the bottom, like a newborn. I fold my tongue into a very small flesh package at the back of the palate. Then I open my mouth as wide as I can and say Ahh. The sound comes out in awkward waves from a cavity in my larynx, crawling over the top of the tongue. I stick my tongue out as far as possible and check which parts of my face I can lick (chin up about halfway, right cheek, left cheek and everything up to the tip of the nose). I wipe the saliva off my face with the top of my left forearm.

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Maria VMier »Zungen«, Artothek Munich, 2020

You all received the message. The earth will not keep up for much longer and we live in a capitalist and exploitative society. Only performance counts, resources and opportunities are not meant to be distributed equally. The gap is proven to be getting bigger, the profiteers need the losers to maintain or expand their status quo. Society was constructed by and for white men, its structure and its function is obsolete and inherently racist.

I own a book with poems by Martin Kippenberger. I have read it thoroughly and have wondered what parts were written while he was sober. In one sentence he says, in brackets »Maria, don’t stop painting, we need your images! Peter Horten«; I don’t exactly know why I had never heard of him. As I Google him, I am once again learning something new about German Schlager.

Wenn du nichts hast als die Liebe
Die die Nächte dir erfüllt
Brauchst du Antwort auf die Frage
Was bei Tag den Hunger stillt

Believing in art is so pathetic. The thought that art is somehow there for us, is such a perfect daydream. I also really like the film where Kevin Costner builds the baseball field for the ghosts and then out of nowhere, they suddenly appear: If you build it, they will come! A great film for a cozy Saturday evening, on the couch, with a fancy pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Are those your paintings hanging on the wall above that couch and looking down on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream melting on the tongues and gliding down the throats?

Im Negativraum der Welt formt sich der Gedanke zum Wort.
Im Negativraum des weißen Papiers bin ich ohne Vorstellung.

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Foto von Marie Haefner

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PW-Magazine is a bilingual online magazine for contemporary culture.