Merle Vorwald
set design/ installation


I am a set designer and artist. My practice shifts between independent film making and research-based installations. It is always based on artistic collaboration and operates with a visual language extracting + magnifying domestic, pop cultural and industrial textures to convey fictional or historic narratives. Since 2013 I have realised projects as set designer, researcher, food designer, artist and initiator.

My practice identifies depressive predispositions and reflects its structure. It always operates in that context, a symptomatic subjective modus that determines the need for collectivity and hope. Being open about this modus is an effective strategy to confront the stigma associated with depression, rooted in the depression’s inherent critique of (capitalist) definition of productivity.

I have evolved my own specific generative rhythm that oscillates between periods of non-productivity and phases of applied, highly energetic operations. This extreme, polarised creative cycle, over time, constitutes a form of stability.

My non-productive/ productive cycles maintain inclusion of reprogramming, attachment to others and care structures.

In focusing on naive-hysteric, colour-hysteric, abject-hysteric of cheap domestic materials, imperfect textures of late capitalism, found objects that lived, signifiers of the dying planet’s causes and the accidentally self-reflexive shine - surfaces become a format of resilience against depressive stigmata and using capitalist bright attractors to include contradiction, confusion and hope.

In film, I choose matters of intuitive fascination: the fantastical, the political, the absurd and the difficult. It is, opposing instant realities, a possibility to use the fictional to participate the real. To all hierarchically upscale collaborators as directors, I present these roots of my practice and aesthetic decision-making as a tool to use for their stories.

My aesthetics are a result of personal resilience. I like them to be identified as such and with that identification I search for resilient others. This resilient act longs to overwrite depressive predispositions as vage illness or exclusion mechanisms with the importance of dysfunctionality.


SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design/ GA), MA Set Design/ Concept Art

HFF (Filmuniversity Potsdam Bablsberg) Diploma Scenography

UdK (University of Arts Berlin) Pre-Diploma Architecture