Frank-Kirk Ehm-Marks | home ARTISTS
biography search and find in the NO!art archives


the strategic
juncture where
artistic production
and socio-cultural
action meet.



Biographical note

In the year the Wall was built, Frank-Kirk Ehm-Marks is thrown into the world, which just happens to be called Bad Kreuznach. As a member of a cliché family - 10 children, almost all of whom were in prison, some of whom lived in the GDR, others in the West without ever having had any contact with each other - his life's path is overshadowed from the start by the mark of Cain "asocial". Interrupted by stays in institutions, he grows up with his step-grandfather in the tranquil idyll of the garden city of Spandau in West Berlin.

Here he is taken and temporarily parked in the household of a mission-conscious old communist, who was often overtaxed with the physical and mental development of his grandson, who sanctioned the harbingers of deviant behavior with Prussian severity, suspecting only family-related "asociality" behind it. This was a serious criminal offense in the GDR and a verbal killer argument against anyone who did not conform in this supposedly better part of Germany. Dropping out of school at 15 without graduating, without being able to read and write properly. Escape and flight into the drug and hustler scene at Bahnhof Zoo, experience of homelessness and addiction - then joining the Berlin squatter scene.

In the mid-eighties, almost 7 years of prolonged slump in sobriety, extensive graphic and literary work emerges. Contacts with the international mail art scene vibrate and dissipate just as rapidly as the friendship with Uwe Morawetz, activist of the gay scene, the virile pioneer of such diverse projects as Social Beat and the esoterically inclined Peace University Potsdam under the patronage of the Dalai Lama.

The most important point of reference, however, becomes the Kreuzberg punk gallery and social station "endart", where, under the direction of the unswerving porn trash pilot Klaus Theuerkauf, Blalla W. Hallmann, Reinhard Scheibner and Stu Mead, among others, exhibited in the 90s. Finally reached a mothership, found a human home: Obsessive and broken is the self-dramatization of all present, the demarcation between art and life obsolete, the aggression towards the real society consensus - and exactly here a bundling of angry reflexes towards the outside world can be felt. Credo: This world is sicker than you can live and paint! Here Ehm-Marks' paintings, her bizarre-poetic variant of Art brut, find short-lived recognition and buyers.

The unexpected success leads unchecked into the next crash phase. Heroin and methadone become his draining happiness-preventers for 9 years, only in early 2003 he manages a perhaps final jump. Auto-Heroin is the name for his clairvoyantly castrated survival art project - Erik Steffen, Berlin 2004