A feminist at the turntable
An author, a DJ, and a musician, Thomas Meinecke is a versatile artist. He samples, quotes and deconstructs role models and the concept of what it means to be an author.
By Romy König
A feminist author
Since the publication of his novel Tomboy in 1998, Thomas Meinecke has been regarded as an author who dismantles gender boundaries. The novel tells the story of a girl who adopts the mannerisms usually associated with boys, a phenomenon for which English has coined the term “tomboy". Meinecke, who calls himself a feminist, questions whether the word "tomboy" is not already a tautology. The work defines and deconstructs gender assignments and common concepts of roles. Meinecke once noted that gender roles were "far too often still a prison. Anyone who is a woman is still a woman, and a man is still a man.” So, he sees feminism as a form of class struggle about exclusion mechanisms and views his role as an author as highlighting these mechanisms. Meinecke has published several novels and stories that delve into issues of gender attribution since the 1980s.
Meinecke, the poetics lecturer
In 2012, Meinecke held the Frankfurt Poetics Lectureship, a renowned series at Goethe University in which authors talk about their work and the process of writing. Meinecke’s lecture was a living example of deconstruction: he set up a record player and opened by playing the appropriately named song False Start, then followed it with a radio report Thomas Meinecke the author. He then quoted passages from Tomboy. Critics called it a "brilliant performance deconstructing the concept of author."
Turning the tables
The author, who now lives in a village in Upper Bavaria, is often found working the turntable, including at the Hebbel am Ufer theatre in Berlin. For more than ten years, he has invited other artists to participate in his event series and take turns playing tracks and telling stories. Together, they shape the evening in interlocking chains of association. In 1980 Meinecke got together with some other musicians to found the band Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle, or F.S.K. for short. Initially primarily punk and new wave, the group soon turned to techno and house. As in his writing, Meinecke is concerned with breaks and deconstructing existing patterns. He is also a radio DJ for Bayerischer Rundfunk and has released records as a solo artist.