No Future / No Past

Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz

Installation with two Super 16mm films / HD,
15 min and 15 min, 2011

Performance: Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Fruity Franky, Werner Hirsch, Olivia Anna Livki, G. Rizo

”Utopia is a stage, not merely a temporal stage, like a phase, but a spatial one”. (Jose Esteban Munoz)

”The 1970s appear as a ”revolting” decade in a slightly different way: they glimmer forth as an embarrassment, as something that remains to be thought, as the text’s indigestible material, and/or as point of departure for resistance but not for grand revolution”. (Elizabeth Freeman)

No Future / No Past is a film installation and part of a series of two films that both work on punk archives from the period between 1976 and 2031 investigating the radical negativity, the self-destructiveness and the dystopia of this past moment.

This work takes another look – anachronistically – at the punk policy of aggressively slating and rejecting the present without ever proposing its own movement as the guarantor of future social justice. Instead of demanding social change, the five performers – four musicians (Ginger Brooks Takahashi/”Men”; Fruity Franky/”Lesbians on Ecstasy”; G. Rizo; Olivia Anna Livki), and a choreographer (Werner Hirsch)–stage and practice outmoded acts and sentiments of the past that have been deemed useless. The musician-performers provisionally take over the positions of four musicians from the punk movement: Darby Crash, the gay band leader of ”The Germs”, Poly Styrene the singer of the very influential band ”X-Ray-Spex”, Alice Bag, lead singer of the LA Band ”The Bags”, and Joey Ramone, singer of the band ”The Ramones”.

The title of the films ironically quote the punk movement’s demand for ”no future” and thus the film takes up the paradoxical premise that we are already in the future, which–according to the temporal ultimatum issued by the punk movement–would never come about. In the films the performers also demand an abolishment of the past, – though the past is considered the basis of the human psyche but also of subjectivity and thus of the existence of human beings in general.

The installation quotes in its form Ronald Tavel’s play “The Live of Juanita Castro”, where an onscreen director is feeding the performers their lines. While the frame of a film image usually picks up important visual elements while omitting less important ones, No Future / No Past turns such validations and conventions of film history upside down. Refering to the legendary ”Ridiculous Theatre”, and the work of Deleuze/Guattari, the film theoretician Marc Siegel qualified the queer politics of the art practice of Boudry/Lorenz as ”becoming ridiculous”. ”A ridiculous critique is not merely unreasonable and hilarious. It also questions rigidities of identity (gender, sexual, racial, and human) and displays a belief in process, style, and fabulation over product, virtuosity, and truth”. (Marc Siegel)

Informations on the installation:

2 Super 16mm / HD Video
15 min. and 15 min.
Performers: Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Fruity Franky, Werner Hirsch, Olivia Anna Livki, G. Rizo
Director of Photography: Bernadette Paassen
Sound: Tom Schön, Karin Michalski, Tobias Neugebauer
Make-up: Tan Nguyen
Set Photography: Andrea Thai
Sound Design: Rashad Becker