My perfect day in Vienna - Marko

schwul gay my perfect day in vienna marko zink © Julia Stix

What’s your name, how old are you and in which district do you reside? What is your current occupation?

My name is Marko Zink, I’m 38 years old and live in the 16th district where I work as an artist in the medium photography, film and installation views.

Also read our article on Marko’s current exibition at Galerie Michaela Stock here.

I work together with galleries in Paris, Zurich, Vienna, New York and generally Germany. Art is significant for me and my life. Art derives from communication. I only take analogue photos using boiled film material. In that manner my work touches the areas of painting (out of which photography developed from) and yet at the same time I tell stories with my works (which makes them cinematic and after all film’s roots lie in photography). The film negatives dissolve through this process rather quickly which again deals with the transience of photography

My photography deals with the transpositioning of object and subject and vice versa. In the series “schwimmer” I animate lifeless material: an object turns into a subject. The water thus creates the volume of the garments that I have drifting through the sea: light, weightless and timeless. The water forms the body and evokes individuality in sheaths that are normally commodities to be bought in department stores.
In a manner of speaking they have a characteristic trait. The clothes get animalistic character which seems to be custom-tailored to the body and through this activation there is a lack of personality.

There is a different relation though in the series „im kurhotel“. Here body parts suddenly seem to become a piece of furniture or also for instance in the series “im wald”, where the body parts function as tree sponges, stumps etc.

My new photo series “Olympia“ though symbolizes a break in my hitherto oeuvre.
Inspired by the movie “Brokeback Mountain”, which got great admiration and fabulous reviews worldwide, I longed to create a contemporary alternative draft, since something struck me as insincere in the original movie. Rather than showing the “courage” to set the film in the present times, the movie somehow pretends that homophobia is a thing of the past, thus transferring it into the 60s, which to me was an absolute mystery.
That’s why I intensely dealt with the subject of body aesthetics: the calendar of young farmers and Nouvelle Vague create the embedment thus constructing the alternative draft. In the pictures you see male protagonists in various settings and poses. They hide their faces under masks but still these masks allow conclusions regarding to their professions. Occupations in which homosexuality either isn’t tolerated, is negated and becomes a taboo.
I refresh these grotesque, conservative pictures: on the one hand the photos could have actually been made in the 60s (in terms of chromaticity and setting), on the other hand a certain kind of equipment, hardware points to present times, as seen in the picture of the sergeant stemming the vacuum cleaner.

What do you enjoy to do? Which hobbies do you have? What’s your favourite city and why?

I love art. And I love social commitment. A lot of people aren’t aware of how badly some people suffer – even in a rich country like Austria. Poverty often is invisible. That’s why it is of great importance to me to also work in a social field. Of each art piece I sell, I either buy another work of art of a young artist or I donate a part of my income. My hobbies are swimming, literature (well reading), music, education, obviously my boyfriend, my family which is extremely important to me, my friends and my environment.

How long have you lived in Vienna (if you haven’t been born here). And where do you originally come from?

I have been living in Vienna for the last 18 years, originally I come from Vorarlberg.

Where is your favourite place to have breakfast and what is so special about it?

Actually there are a few:
Cafe Jelinek: this cafe is a proper “feelgood” cafe – it’s very old, has this very own charm about it and you simply feel at home in it at once: no matter if you go there on your own for some peace and quietness and to observe or if you want to meet up with friends – the breakfast simply always is very delicious.
Yppenplatz: the Yppenplatz is the little brother of the Naschmarkt, yet - thank god - not as „hip“ and crowded with people. There is great variety of places with good coffee and breakfast.
Espresso: a gem in the Burggasse, in the summer time there is this nice little garden with a perfect organic breakfast.

Where are the best restaurants for lunching and dining and why?

There are a lot. Amongst others I think „Zur Herknerin“ is very cool – it’s an extended living room and the dishes are exclusive and delicious. I prefer to have a smaller menu but thus having the advantage of a fine selection. “China Bar” – again a bit of an insiders’ tip in the Burggasse - very small, in summer time there’s also a garden, very urban instead of its location. “Yppenplatz”, also available for relaxation at lunch and dinner time – utter good feeling place. “Nam Nam” very delicious Indian Food in a nice atmosphere.
“Villa Aurora” especially because of the nice view over Vienna and the peculiar Schnitzel variations.

Where can you find the perfect combination of coffee and cakes? Which café, which one should be visited?

Again: “Cafe Jelinek”: they only serve a few cakes and sweet dishes, but all taste as if they were made by your grandmother. One can taste that and that’s how it should be.
„Cafe Korb“, is known by everyone – simply a nice café with a longstanding tradition. And I also like the somehow quirky atmosphere of some of the “Aida” cafés.

Is there a classic sightseeing attraction one shouldn’t miss out on? Why?

In Vienna there are tons of sightseeing places and of course even more so in a broader sense. The Prater f.i. even if is always a bit crowded, one can most definitely always have a great time there. In addition to that I find it to be a place where you experience the real VIENNA in all its variety.

Which is your favourite good weather spot? And what to do or where to go when it rains?

When the weather is nice I prefer to be in the outdoors – be it on the balcony, in the water or in the woods. Other than that I love to stroll through the city whereupon it doesn’t really drag me into the classic first district but rather into “Bobohausen” as I call it, into the 7th district. ☺
Program for a rainy day: either I go to a café, the cinema or stay at home – there is always so much you can do at home. ☺

What are your absolute all time favourite places in Vienna?

There are a lot; I like f.i. the MQ – especially if you can manage to get an Enzi for yourself. Also all the lovely little shopping streets in Neubau, because eventually you will end up in a café, which in the end really is typical for Vienna. I also like the Schleifmühlgasse, since it is a creative area with lots of galleries. But I guess my favourite place after a long day of work really is the Yppenplatz.

In terms of culture, theatre, museum, cinema – is there anything you would recommend?

Vienna is a synonym for art, just like many other cities too. I’m no regular gallery visitor but I do enjoy and like the Schleifmühlgasse, naturally the Galerie Michaela Stock ( ), which provides a lot of chances to young artists. Generally speaking though the gallery scene in Vienna is really well established (Galerie Hubert Winter, Charim Galerie, Hilger, Krinzinger, Senn, Kargl, Engholm, Bildraum, Schwarzwälder, Raum mit Licht, Anzenberger, from West- to Ostlicht, Steineck,..). Obviously you should also visit all the museums – Leopold and Mumok f.i. To go to the theatre is another must-do (Volkstheater, Burgtheater, Volksoper). Cinema – well I could of course claim that I’m only visiting alternative Cinemas (Schikaneder, Top, Burg, Gartenbau, Votiv..) but that what be a blatant lie. I just as well enjoy going to the Apollo – well it depends on what is on but generally speaking a good mix makes all the difference.

Do you have certain shopping recommendations? A hip corner in Vienna, a very special shop? Where do you like to shop?

Most of the time I shop in the 6th or 7th district, in Neubaugasse or Zieglergasse, Zollergasse, etc – these areas are attractive because you don’t have that metropolitan feeling there. All the products of mass consumption you get in the well-known streets anyway but every metropolis has their niches und these are the interesting places to look out for. Even in the 1st district (f.i. a small general store) you can find lovely things but to be honest most of the time the place is too crowded for me. I do like the MAK Shop a lot – they have funny gimmicks on display, cool design and of course the dioramas which my friend and I produce in a side-project called Rather convenient to do a bit of covered advertising here ☺

Where do you go out in Vienna – if you do – which places do you recommend to dance, have a beer, listen to music or just to nip on some cocktails?

Dancing the night away is something I love to do and naturally I enjoy it the most when I DJ myself. Together with my DJ colleague and friend Andrea we run the legendary “Klub Renate” (facebook or which takes place every third Saturday of the month. We just moved the Klub to a new venue – the MORISSON CLUB and starting with March 2014 we entertain our audience there. We have our followers and fans but of course there are also some people who help us run it (otherwise it would be too much to handle for the two of us alone). All these little helpers are simply perfect. So: those of you who (from alternative to absolutely not) like the 80s, a bit of the 90s paired with cool contemporary vibes (from Deichkind, Mia up to M83, Robyn and Gaga), are welcome to come and join us at Klub Renate. We do put a lot of effort into this project: starting with the cool flyers and posters and moving on to a live program. For instance: in January we invited the GRAZIEN to be our guest and the place was simply packed with people. This may all sound a bit “serious” and professional but luckily we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But somehow this attitude seems to work and that is what the people like: simply because everything has this easy and funny vibe and because we convince with our DJ lines and persuasive message: People, dance!

What is your favourite season in Vienna?

Definitely a mild summer.

What’s your favourite holiday destination and why?

I think it is Greece for me, especially the Cyclades, but also the mainland. Mind you though, far away from Mykonos and Crete. I prefer the more quiet islands. Even though they hardly exist anymore.

Anything else you want to recommend?

The new photo series “Olympia”, which will be shown at Galerie Michaela Stock at the same time as the Vienna Gallery Weekend takes place (16th-18th May), will be accompanied by a STEHkalender. So: whoever likes to pin my men on his/her walls or wants to carry them in their pockets, is welcome to purchase them. ☺

Here are our other interviews with Matt, Jürgen and Benno.