Hotel Marienbad 006: Mark von Schlegell. Dreaming the Mainstream



16 June 09



7 pm

Fiction’s step away from the real world occasions the step towards an always immanent reconciliation, forming by its articulation a new Space, a Space on the verge of becoming.
(Mark von Schlegell. Realometer: American Romance)

Experimentation and risk were increasingly frowned upon by the American literary establishment in the Bush years. Mark von Schlegell invented his peculiar brand of ficto-criticism and philosophical pulp fiction by publishing almost exclusively in the international art world, putting its global commitment to avant-garde experiment, futurist visions and amateur left-wing agitation to the service of radical speculative fiction. In the suite at Hotel Marienbad Mark von Schlegell will read from his two latest publications, the novel Mercury Station and the critical essay Realometer: American Romance. The reading is followed by a rare screening of the 30 minute “upside-down documentary“ My Dinner With Merlin, co-produced with artists and writers in Los Angeles 2005.

Mark von Schlegell (born 1967 in New York) is an American science fiction writer and cultural critic. His numerous essays and lectures on contemporary art, art theory and science fiction have appeared in magazines such as Parkett, Arttext, Flash Art; as well as in a number of exhibition catalogues. Von Schlegell's most recently published books are the novels Venusia (2005) and Mercury Station (2009), both with Semiotext(e); and the novelette High Wichita (2006, Pork Salad Press). The release of his essay Realometer: American Romance (Merve Verlag, in German language) is imminent. Mark von Schlegell lives and works in Cologne.

My Dinner With Merlin, USA 2005
Directed by Frances Scholz
Produced by Mark von Schlegell, Joel Mesler, Frances Scholz
Color, 28 min.

Situated in the front building of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Hotel Marienbad opens up possibilities beyond the white cube by offering a poetic space for highly diverse modes of presentation and performance formats. Eluding all attempts at defining it as either a private or a public space, it is both useful space and artistic platform. Whether they present an exhibition or host an evening event is up to the guests, who do not pay for bed and board in the usual way. Instead, the accepted currency are artistic interventions that subject the place to permanent change. Thus each guest leaves traces which combine to form part of a collective process that is reflected in the steadily rising figure of the room number. Mark von Schlegell is the the sixth guest to stay at Hotel Marienbad.

Event in English.

Supported by the Friends of KW Institute for Contemporary Art.