The Badischer Kunstverein presents the first institutional solo exhibition of Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz in Germany. The exhibition centers around their newly produced film “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation” (2013), which was made in cooperation with the Badischer Kunstverein and will be shown here for the first time. This film is accompanied by the film installations “Toxic” (2012) and “Salomania” (2009).
In their primarily filmic works the two artists deal with the emergence of photography and film against the backdrop of colonial history and the invention of body norms. Historical photographs, texts or songs become the starting point for their search for alternative (sexual) practices and ways of living, conjoining with subversive approaches from pop, glamour, and camp.
Boudry/Lorenz’s films show performances that are performed for the camera which are only indirectly encountered by the audience through the film projection. At the same time, projected films or images often form the stage background for these filmed performances, so that the different levels overlap. In “Salomania,” for example, the performer Wu Tsang reenacts the dance by the actress Alla Nazimova in the silent film “Salome” from 1923, which is projected behind him. The filmic illusion is broken again and again in the works by Boudry/Lorenz, as the performers look or speak directly into the camera, and the director or the camera itself comes into the picture. In “Toxic,” for instance, the performer starts a conversation with the film team, addressing the hierarchical relations within the film production process.
The new film “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation” takes as a starting point a score with the same title by the avant-garde composer Pauline Oliveros from 1970. The piece is performed by the six musicians Rachel Aggs, Peaches, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Catriona Shaw, Verity Susman, and William Wheeler. The composition, which Oliveros says was influenced by Valerie Solanas’ radical feminist “SCUM Manifesto,” affords the musicians an equal role, rejecting the hierarchical structures of traditional music. The artists are especially interested in the question of “whether and how changing structures engenders queer relations, whether musical and filmic forms and materials can become revolutionary.” Entirely in keeping with the exhibition title “Patriarchal Poetry,” which quotes a poem by Gertrude Stein, this involves queer politics starting from the history of aesthetics.
Curated by Anja Casser and Nadja Quante.
Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz have been working together since 1998. They live in Berlin.
Solo shows (selection):
2013 Aftershow, CAPC, Bordeaux / 2012 A Toxic Play in Two Acts, South London Gallery, curated by Electra / 2011 No Future / No Past, part of Chewing the Scenery, Swiss Off-Site Pavillon, 54th Venice Biennale; No Past, Statements, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Art Basel / 2010 Contagieux! Rapports contre la normalité, Centre d´Art, Geneve; Salomania, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam.
Group shows (selection):
2013 Good Girls-Memory, Desire, Power, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest / 2012 Accrochage, Musée d´Art, Lausanne; Intense Proximity, Palais de Tokyo, Paris / 2011 Junge Kunst, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich; Coming after, The Power Plant, Toronto / 2010 Lecture Performances, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade.
The film installation “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation” is funded by Stiftung Kunstfonds and produced with the support of Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe, Electra in London, and Les Complices in Zurich.
A publication is planned to follow the exhibition in collaboration with CAPC/Bordeaux, Electra/London, and Les Complices/Zurich.
With kind support from Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung.