11th Gwangju Biennale
2. 9. – 6. 11. 2016



Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz

Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz’s (b. 1972, Lausanne/Berlin, b. 1963, Berlin) films share a layering and restaging of history, often starting with research into suppressed or forgotten individuals from the past. Highly collaborative, they cooperate with numerous individuals such as choreographers, actors, other artists, and musicians to assemble their theatrical compositions.

Toxic approaches its subject head-on with images, allegories, and props that both take on and confront toxicity. It challenges our assumptions about radioactivity, infertility, AIDS, drugs, medicine, and other forms of virulence and poison, both physical and figurative, and proposes to explore not only the toxicity of substances but also that of the filmic apparatus: its history since the 19th century, its social effects, and the ways in which we continue to work with it today.

The two lead characters in Toxic – a genderless punk figure and a drag queen borrowing some lines from an ’80s interview with the writer Jean Genet – also appear in Opaque as alleged representatives of an underground organization, enmeshed in layers of anonymity. Pink fumes rush in, perhaps from bombings or as a signal during a political demonstration. Do the fumes and other veiling techniques grant a “right to opacity” (Édouard Glissant) to the bodies that they mask and disguise? Or do they blur the dividing lines between same and other, between accomplices and enemies?

To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation brings together six performers who are reinterpreting a work by the composer Pauline Oliveros from 1970, inspired by Valerie Solanas’s “SCUM Manifesto,” a radical feminist text calling against the patriarchal order. Each performer selects five pitches and plays them as very long tones; as soon as one player is about to dominate the performance, the collective absorbs her back. The film introduces the 16mm camera as an additional performer, who constantly moves and interacts with everybody else. The whole performance of the piece is shot in one continuous take, while only the editing process introduces extreme close ups which highlights a fetishist interest into details of bodies, instruments, and costumes. AM


We live in Berlin and work together since 2007. Informed by our experiences in the theater and music contexts as well as activism, our work is concerned with the search for different stages. Our filmed performances often revisit materials from the past, a score, a piece of music, a film, a photograph or a performance, wondering about and excavating unrepresented or illegible moments of utopia in history. In our installations we often have an empty stage, ready for some potential performance. It stays unclear if the audience become performers or if musicians or drag performers are going to appear from behind the screens.
We produce film installations that step in and out of suppressed or illegible moments, staging the actions of individuals and groups living — indeed thriving — in defiance of normality, law and economics. We like to upset normative historical narratives, as figures across time are staged, projected and layered.