Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz - Statement


Our works often revisit recent and past material, a score, a piece of music, a film, a photograph or a performance, wondering about and excavating unrepresented or illegible moments of utopia.

We work with performance to create embodiments which are able to conflate different times and we often create illegitimate collaborations – partly fictitious, partly cross-temporal: in "To Valerie Solanas" we gather a number of musicians to perform a minimalist score from 1970, meeting in an imaginary way with its composer Pauline Oliveros and her ideas about the power of listening. In "I Want" we stage a meeting between punk poet Kathy Acker, artist Sharon Hayes, and transgender- and prison-abolitionist activist Chelsea Manning, who, in 2010, channeled classified information about the war in Irak to WikiLeaks. The performers in our films are choreographers, artists and musicians, with whom we are having a long-term conversation about performance, the meaning of visibility since early modernity, the pathologization of bodies, but also about companionship, glamour and resistance.

Our films show long sequences of performance, where it is not a matter of ‘acting’. For instance, the (drag) performer Werner Hirsch–a performer that we have often collaborated with–purports to play a role in a conventionally convincing manner. Rather, Werner Hirsch establishes a connection of desire with human and non-human objects, through a series of actions and practices, carefully carried out, which are recorded and repeated in the projection in the exhibition space. The topic is the performativity of the performance, the actions, the operations, and their effects.

We usually understand the camera as a performer in its own right. The camera work reflects on the violent history of visualization. It determines the frame that allows or hinders the audience to see. The camera's movements establish encounters in between performers or performer and audience.

At the same time, we incorporate lines of desire, the conventions of fetishization, and the glamour of film portraits (with its associated valuation) for the images of the performance. We are interested in the question of how ‘normality’ can be reworked today, how difference can be lived without constant disempowerment, without being appropriated and without taking on the neo-liberal economy’s offers of integration.