EVA MERZ, born 1966, lives and works in Esbjerg, Denmark.
Merz is is a photography-based visual artist as well as a writer, editor, designer and publisher. Her work is based on a social practice, which includes engaging and collaborating with people from various backgrounds. Taking the approach of an anthropologist she emerges into unfamiliar communities with a methodology signified by participant observation, informal interviews, collective discussions, analyses of personal documents and life-stories. Her research strategies aim to gain a close familiarity with the individuals that she works with. Her focus covers both the specific: the life of the individual person, and the common: human condition in a wider social and political context. She places herself in the field between a documentary and conceptual arts practice.
Moving to Scotland in 2003 Merz created New Social Art School (2004-2010), a collaborative arts movement, consisting of people from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. Their projects were informed by local politics and social issues. Through various productions, including photography, video, public events, street art, activism and publications, they intended to communicate issues of common interest directly to the public, hoping to encourage others to take part in the social and political debate and thus renew participation in and understanding of the arts.
In 2011, twenty years after she first left, Merz returned to her hometown, to live and continue her practice as a socially engaged artist and photographer. Since 2013 she has worked in and around a social housing area and, after completing a public mural project in collaboration with local residents, she emerged on a long-term photography project which culminated in the exhibition and publication ‘Gammel Vardevej – indefra’. She continuously works with people from the area…