Mercedes Wagner
Peruvian-austrian artist, *1984 in Germany
Currently based in Hannover, Germany

My work is based on the photographic image and makes use of interventions and installative practices. The subjects mostly center on the gesture of displaying and hence often refer to the mediation of knowledge and culture as well as to the context of science. While media-reflexive aspects remain underlying to my inte-rest in the photographic image, I consider it’s documentary and staging qualities equal and concurrent layers in photographic representation. I’m very interested in what seems to be trivial. I‘m intrigued by the everyday, cultural practices, language and artifacts in a wider sense.  And I like to ask questions. Thus, my work is rather about providing space for enquiries than trying to give answers. Dealing with mundane topics I aim to draw the line to wider contexts that refer back to historic, economic and social conditions shaping the present. Since a while I’m concerned with the relationship between the Global North and the Global South and the concepts of reality, culture and identity underlying it’s status quo unaware of the reciprocity inherent to the interdependency between the North and the South. By creating myself alternative frames of references using both still and moving images I try to question common concepts as constructs of a binary and hiera-rich system. In order to broaden but also to orchestrate those networks of connotations, I implement spatial and temporal aspects, sound, text and materials.
I like to think of my works as photographic spaces that enable the alteration of the visible and create further possibilities of reality. In this context my practice examines our relation towards the photographic image and the depicted, questioning representative functions of photography, video and objects through site-specific installations, projections and books.


2013 - 2018   MA Photography Studies and Practice, Folkwang University of the Arts Essen (GER)
2015 - 2016   Research in Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Chile, Brazil
           2015   Masterclass Contemporary Photography, Centro de la Imagen Lima (PE)
2006 - 2011   BA Scenography and Costume, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover (GER)
2004 - 2005   Philosophy, Gender Studies, Economic & Social Studies, Georg-August-University Goettingen (GER)


2019   Individual Artistic Development, project funding by the Federal Land of North Rhine-Westphalia
2018   Individual Artistic Development, research grant by the Federal Land of North Rhine-Westphalia
           Project Funding, The Society of Friends and Sponsors of the Folkwang University of the Arts
           Deutschlandstipendium, scholarship by the Federal Government of Germany
2017   Folkwang Prize 2017, Nomination

Solo Exhibitions

2018   Touch, Raum Z13 Essen
2017   LIQUID LAYERS même l’eau a l’air fausse, Galerie52 Essen

Group Exhibitions

2019   Made in..., Kunsthaus Essen
2018   ExExoArtefakt @Folkwang Finale, Sanaa Building, Zollverein Essen
           Mantas @International Young Photographers, Daegu Photo Biennale 2018, Daeguart Factory, Daegu (KOR)
           We will pick you up again Videoscreening @Rundgang 2018, Zollverein Essen
           Irgend @Photoprojekte Bauschau 2007-2018, Baustelle Schaustelle Duesseldorf, Photo Duesseldorf
           You there, us here, W-10 Gallery FIU Miami (USA)
2017   Before Miami, Baustelle Schaustelle Essen
           Es lo que hay @Folkwang Preis 2017, Sanaa Building Zollverein, Essen
           Stopover, UG im Folkwang, Museum Folkwang, Essen
2014   Kanal_A @Rundgang Fotografie, Auktionshaus Schützenbahn, Essen
           Krisen des Sichtbaren, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich
2011   Darin leben, Screening @...können wir das bitte sehen?, Ballhof, Hannover
2010   Vol. 10, Seilbahn Expo Plaza, Hannover

Publication Contributions

2018   Encounter V History of Photography in Daegu, International Young Photographers Exhibition, Photo Artists
            Society of Korea: Photography Exhibition, Fringe Photo Festival, Galleries Association of Daegu: Special Photography
            Exhibition, catalogue, Daegu Photo Biennale 2018, Daegu (KOR)
           International Young Photography Exhibition, catalogue, Daegu Photo Biennale 2018, Daegu (KOR)
2017   Stopover, brochure, UG im Folkwang, Museum Folkwang Essen
           Irgend, artist's book, hand-made, Essen
2014   Schöne neue Welt, HANT Magazine for Photography, No. 04
           Folkwang UdK, brochure, Photokina Academy 2014, Cologne


2020   Über weites Wasser, Flusser Studies 29 – 2020 / Centennial Three-Part Issue,
2018   Ein fotografischer Körper? Aktivität und Passivität eines theoretischen Objekts. MA thesis, Folkwang University
           of the Arts Essen