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Kat Merten aka Doll Face is a video artist and musician based in Berlin. Coming from a background of conceptual art they frequently collaborate with artists from various fields on genre-bending performances and projects. Their collaborations and commissioned work can be seen and heard at art, theatre and literature houses throughout Germany and abroad.

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Kat Merten studied conceptual art at the Academies of Fine Arts Vienna and Leipzig, and completed a postgraduate "Meisterschüler" program at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig in 2015.


Following their studies, they worked at Schauspiel Leipzig for three years, producing video and live camera works for numerous theater productions. During this time they were a resident DJ at the progressive Cry Baby series (Institut für Zukunft, Leipzig).


After moving to Berlin in 2018 Kat Merten began producing their own music. Two performances resulted from their collaboration with choreographer Francisco Baños Diaz and dancer Elle Fierce. Kat Merten produced the music for both pieces, which were presented at Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig and Balance Club/ Culture Festival 2020.


In December 2020 their Debut EP CAKE was released on the independent record label acting in concert. The EP includes four hybrid club tracks and a music video that was featured on Vienna-based PW-Magazine for cutting-edge personas in art and culture. CAKE celebrates our daily uprising. It is a radical and emotional manifesto and furious liberation.


In 2021 Kat Merten received scholarships and residencies by:


Musikfonds (scholarship, 6 months)


#TakeCare in collaboration with HAU Hebbel am Ufer (scholarship and residency, 2 months)


Musicboard Berlin in collaboration with A.M.I. (Aide Aux Musiques Innovatrices) Marseille, France (residency, 3 weeks)

🐧✌ ς𝐨Ⓛ𝐋ᗩв๏ᖇ𝒶ŦᎥⓄⓝŜ

㋛ show list of collaborations

Sketches For A New Love Song

collaboration with Lotte Meret

HAU Hebbel am Ufer

Video Premiere: 22. Mar 2021


Cake

featuring baby punk, Cousin, Lamb Kebab, Elle Fierce

acting in concert

EP Release: 04. Dec 2020


Bel Air

collaboration with Anja Kaiser, Felix Schütze, Francisco Baños Diaz, Lila Steinkampf, Elle Fierce, Rachel de la Torre

PW-Magazine

Video Premiere: 27. Nov 2020


Album for Endo-Financial™ tuning

collaboration with Peter Scherrebeck Hansen, Paca Faraus

SNDO - School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam

Video Premiere: 21. Nov 2020


Clitorian Reading Chairs

collaboration with Thea Reifler

This House Is Not A Home

Lothringer 13, München

Workshop: 01. Aug 2020


Peeling Fruit In Front Of Strangers

collaboration with Francisco Baños Diaz, Lamb Kebab, Lotte Meret, Elle Fierce

Balance Club/ Culture Festival 2020

Performance: 20. May 2020


Nudes

collaboration with Elle Fierce, Francisco Baños Diaz

Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig

Performance: 29. Oct 2019


The Clitorian Reading Room

collaboration with Thea Reifler, Ethan Folk, Paula Hans, bound by Ceca

Droste Festival 2019

Burg Hülshoff — Center for Literature, Münster

Exhibition: 03 — 07. Jul 2019


Convolution

collaboration with SEXES & Francisco Baños Diaz, Natasa Dudar, Lou Thabart, Elle Fierce, Yan Leiva

Balance – Club / Culture Festival 2019

Festival Opening: 29. May 2019

¢𝓞м𝔪𝕀𝐬ᔕᶤ🔘𝓝𝔼ᗪ ↦↦↦↦↦

㋛ show list of work of commissioned work

Spit Drink
by Jenna Sutela
commission: videography
E-Werk Luckenwalde
Release: 7. May 2021


Ein Sommernachtstraum

directed by Jakob Weiss

commission: musical direction

Nationaltheater Mannheim

Premiere: 23. Apr 2021


Truth is a Matter of the Imagination

Pogo Bar Podcast by Thea Reifler und Philipp Bergmann

commission: sound editor

KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Release: 21. Mar 2021


Men In Trouble

talkshow series directed by Jovana Reisinger

commission: camera operator

Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Premiere: 13. Jan 2021


Katzelmacher

directed by Jakob Weiss

commission: video direction

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

Premiere: 16. Oct 2020


Das Wundertheater — ein Triptychon

composed by Hans Werner Henze

commission: video direction

directed by Thea Reifler & Philipp Bergmann

Bayerische Staatsoper München

Premiere: 22. Jun 2020 postponed


Fünf

reading by Yade Yasemin Önder

commission: videography

Prosanova Literature Festival 2020


Die Worte gehören uns

video portrait of Yade Yasemin Önder

commission: videography

Heidelberger Stückemarkt 2020


Fluss, stromaufwärts

directed by Gordon Kämmerer

commission: video direction

Schauspiel Leipzig

Premiere: 24. Nov 2019


Nacht ohne Sterne

directed by Gordon Kämmerer

commission: video direction

Schauspiel Leipzig

Premiere: 20. Apr 2019

☠🐍 Sᗴ𝓁E¢丅ⓔ𝔻 Ⓟ𝓡𝐎𝔧ᗴ𝓬ᵗŞ 👹
scroll down for selected projects

Sketches For A New Love Song


video, 15 minutes

in collaboration with Lotte Meret

part of Spy on Me #3 at HAU Hebbel am Ufer

2021

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How can we picture revolutionary new love songs that change our way of thinking about love? Can love songs be the key to a “New Community”? These questions are addressed by artist and musician Kat Merten aka Doll Face and artist Lotte Meret.


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From before the troubadours of the Middle Ages to the pop stars of today, love songs have been THE most popular genre of music for well over a millennium. We all know hundreds of love songs. We're constantly surrounded by them: at the gym, in the club, on the subway or at home in the shower. Love songs accompany our lives and our coexistence. But what exactly do they tell us? How do love songs shape our notions of relationships, romance, sexuality and gender roles?

Ted Gioia, music historian and author of the only comprehensive scientific publication to date on the history of love songs, says: “I believe music is a source of transformation. I believe music is a change agent. It changes things.” Gioia believes in the transformative power of the love song. And he believes in its innovation: “There will be revolutionary new ways of singing of love. (...) The songs will come and they will change our lives.”*

How can we picture these revolutionary new love songs that change our way of thinking about love? If our everyday love songs would change, how might our society change in turn? Can love songs be the key to a “New Community”? These questions are central to the work of artist and musician Kat Merten aka Doll Face. As part of this year's festival theme, she will present a first look at his artistic research. For Spy On Me, he deconstructs five popular love songs and assembles them into new tracks. In collaboration with artist Lotte Meret, a digital EP and a canvas will be created, previewing the finished music project to be released later this year.

*Love Songs: The Hidden History. 2016. Video.

listen to CAKE on all major platforms

Cake


EP, 4 tracks

featuring baby punk, Cousin, Elle Fierce, Lamb Kebab

released on acting in concert

2020

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CAKE celebrates different artistic positions and genres coming together. For each of the four tracks of their debut EP, Doll Face invited a guest artist. Among them are old and new friends like rappers Lamb Kebab and baby punk. Their lyrics complete the four different tracks. Acid, ballroom and elements of grime are merged with sounds of thunder and Molotov cocktails to form new narratives. CAKE celebrates our daily uprising – it is a radical and emotional manifesto and furious liberation.

Bel Air


music video, 4 minutes
in collaboration
with Anja Kaiser, Elle Fierce, Felix Schütze, Francisco Baños Diaz, Lila Steinkampf, Rachel de la Torre

premiered on PW-Magazine

2020

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A trip into nature turns into an ecstatic feverish dream: Doll Face, formerly known as Dorothy Parker, shares individual moments of pure catharsis with her lead single.

»The idea for ›Bel Air‹ emerged from a performance that dancer Luke Fierce, choreographer Francisco Baños Diaz, vocalist Cousin and I showed together in spring 2020 at the Balance Club / Culture Festival. ›Bel Air‹ has thus become an independent story in its own right. The video peaks in a cathartic moment, which the protagonists experience in different ways,« says the former resident DJ for the Cry Baby series (Institut für Zukunft, Leipzig), who also collaborated with the art collective SEXES.

Doll Face began producing music after moving to Berlin in 2018. Her debut EP CAKE celebrates the daily uprising – it is a radical and emotional manifesto and furious liberation. It will be released on December 4 by the newly founded label acting in concert.

(PW-Magazine)

Peeling Fruit In Front Of Strangers


performance, 30 minutes
in collaboration
with Elle Fierce, Francisco Baños Diaz, Lamb Kebab, Lotte Meret
2020
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Peeling Fruit In Front Of Strangers is a joint production by Francisco Baños Diaz (choreographer and dancer), Elle Fierce (dancer), Kat Merten aka Doll Face (musician), Rachel de la Torre aka Lamb Kebab (vocalist) and Lotte Meret Effinger (visual artist) for Balance Club / Culture Festival 2020. The performance combines elements of contemporary dance, rap and avant-garde club music to create an exclusive emulsion.

video documentation: Felix Schütze

NUDES


performance, 20 minutes
in collaboration with Elle Fierce,
Francisco Baños Diaz
premiered at
Literarischer Herbst, GfzK Leipzig

2020


video documentation: Felix Schütze

The Clitorian Reading Room


installation/ sound work

in collaboration with Thea Reifler, Ethan Folk, Paula Hans & bound by Ceca

for Droste Festival 2019

Burg Hülshoff — Center for Literature, Münster

2019

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The Clitorian Reading Room by Thea Reifler and Kat Merten was developed for Droste Festival 2019 at Burg Hülshoff — Center for Literature in Münster. The installation was shown in the attic of the old summer house of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, infamous 19th-century German writer and composer. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff is well known for her poetry but only a few people know about her early studies of the clitoris. The Clitorian Reading Room is dedicated to this important part of her work as an artist and scientist. The installation collects letters, drawings and relicts that are related to Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's research about the clitoris. In a second room we find a contemporary approach of her Clitorian Reading techniques performed by Ethan Folk and Paula Hans that were recorded and edited as an audio piece. Fetish gear artist BOUND by Ceca designed two contemporary versions of Droste-Hülshoff's Clitorian Reading Chair that you can see in the picture above.


photos: Sabrina Richmann


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The clitoris is the only organ in the human body that has continuously evolved over five million years with the singular purpose of developing greater feeling. It serves no other bodily function than to feel. Anatomically speaking, the penis and clitoris are made of the same erectile tissue. In the Clitorian Age, the clitoris is considered to be the sensory center of every human being, and this center can be more hidden or exposed depending on the individual body. The Clitorian Age sees beyond a binary conception of genitals, embracing an anatomical spectrum that is non-synonymous with gender.

References to the role of the clitoris in sensations of pleasure by anticendancts of the Clitorian Age can be found as early as the 16th century. However, these textual accounts were not culturally well-received and largely lost or forgotten. The hidden extent of the clitoris inside of the body was only fully described and the information proliferated in 1844 by the German anatomist Geog Ludwig Kobelt. Although this anotomical clitorial information became public during Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's lifetime, in prior years to its publication she had already conversed with her intellectual companions and lovers about a presumed poetic-sensitive "mesh." Those secret correspondences were only recently discovered.

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff used the clitoris as a figure of thought and understood it to be central to the expression of “nature-bound” sensuality. Based on this concept, she developed body-related methods for writing and reading poetic texts, thereby coining the term "cliterature". In her legendary "Clitorian Reading Room," she used to sit on a chair with an opening in the seat to write, edit, and recite her poetry. Whether or not one of her companions “assisted” from below, can only be speculated today.

After a brief lull in the twentieth century - including unfortunate setbacks such as the sudden loss of the clitoris’ entry in the 1938 medical standard work "Grays Anatomy” - the rise of the clitoris resumed in the 21st century. In 1998, the urologist Dr. Helen O'Connell was the first to use magnetic resonance imaging to scan the nerves of this sensitive organ. The first 3D sonography of the excited clitoris was published in 2009 by Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès. Since the unexpected historic breakthrough of 2020, the triumphant advance of the Clitorian Age can no longer be stopped. The hidden, widely branched and highly sensitive structure of the clitoris has become the eponymous metaphor for an age in which complexity, diversity, inconsistency, opacity, intuition and feeling, are of highest value.

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Convolution


installation/ performance, 20 minutes

collaboration with SEXES & Elle Fierce, Francisco Baños Diaz, Natasa Dudar, Lou Thabart, Yan Leiva

Balance – Club / Culture Festival

2019

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Boot-up of the hybrid installation CONVOLUTION by artist collective SEXES + performance specially developed for the new production for Balance – Club / Culture Festival 2019.


photos: Lucie Marsmann