In a pop-up exhibition on the weekend of 6–7 November 2021, Berlin-born photographer Vera Mercer showed a selection of her New Works – consisting of exquisite inkjet and platinum prints – at Villa Heike in Berlin. She also presented her new book of the same name, and published by DCV in Berlin.
Vera Mercer wowed international audiences a little over ten years ago with her lush, neo-baroque still life color photography. The photographs are populated by drinking vessels and vases, fruits and mushrooms, cutlery, and animal cadavers – be they recently deceased or merely the outer shell. Candlesticks also make an appearance, fitted with fresh or worn-down candles, alongside Mercer’s ever recurring flower blossoms, which occasionally lose their petals along the way. While some of the dead animals featured in the still lifes seem only to be asleep, others look as if they have recently been exhumed – offering new, more radical vanitas studies bridging beauty and transience, the perennial dualism we sense throughout Vera Mercer’s work.
Although some of her New Works are now darker and more somber than they were a few years ago, the photographer remains true to her still-life-based photography, which she realizes in multifaceted arrangements at her homes in Omaha and Paris.