Everybody talks about the weather… We don’t.
Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz present their first US solo exhibition Everybody talks about the weather… We don’t. It includes a major new moving image work — Telepathic Improvisation — and two new sculptures.
With reference to current violent social conditions, Telepathic Improvisation explores the ways in which others (including other objects) might become part of our striving for alternative political and sexual imaginations. Humans and non-humans, movements, speeches, gestures, music, light, and smoke interpret composer Pauline Oliveros’ 1974 score of the same title. While the action of the film appears abstract, it nonetheless includes references to leftist protest, queer S&M club life, acts of surveillance and, finally, fantasies of new relations between human and non-human objects in an interstellar dimension. The audience is called to communicate telepathically with all of the elements on screen, including performers Marwa Arsanios, Werner Hirsch, MPA, and Ginger Brooks Takahashi. Challenging the idea of images as mere depictions of (political) actions, this filmed performance speaks about productive tensions between the fantasy of an action and the action itself.
Artistic-political methods such as opacity — opposing the principles of rendering the Other transparent — determine the duo’s way of creating installations. With their films and sculptures, and the placement of screens and objects in space, they create a dense net of references to the history of art and the often cruel and excluding history of visualization and the gaze. They play with dis/connections between objects and meaning, and with the conventional gendering of material. Does the hair of a huge sculptural hair-work refer to a wig? Does it refer to the history of drag performance?
Or is it a glamorous prop? A minimalist object becomes a stage, and the visitor suddenly participates in a narrative that hints towards an alternative future. This exhibition is presented as part of a year-long series of major presentations by Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz in the US, co-curated by Alhena Katsof in collaboration with the Walker Art Center’s Moving Image Commissions, Minneapolis; EMPAC/Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy; PARTICIPANT INC., New York; and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH).
Following the film’s premiere and installation at PARTICIPANT INC., it will stream online via the Walker Art Center’s Moving Image Commissions page. The exhibition will be restaged in a new form at CAMH accompanied by a catalogue with a newly commissioned essay by André Lepecki and contributions by the artists, Victoria Brooks, Dean Daderko, Lia Gangitano, Alhena Katsof, and Mason Leaver-Yap.
Events at EMPAC will soon be announced on their website.
Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz have been working together in Berlin since 2007. Their staged films and film installations often start with a song, a picture, a film or a script from the past. They produce performances for the camera, staging the actions of individuals and groups living — indeed thriving — in defiance of normality, law, and economics. Their films upset normative historical narratives, as figures across time are staged, projected, and layered.
Their performers are choreographers, artists, and musicians, with whom they are having a longterm conversation about performance, the meaning of visibility since early modernity, the pathologization of bodies, but also about glamour and resistance. Their recent video work, Silent, featuring a performance by Aérea Negrot, premiered at the Biennale of Moving Image in Geneva in 2016. In 2015, I Want, with a performance by Sharon Hayes, was shown in their solo show at Künsthalle Zürich and was commissioned by Künsthalle Zürich and Nottingham Contemporary. In 2014, they produced Opaque, with performances by Werner Hirsch and Ginger Brooks Takahashi, which premiered at the Berlinale (Forum Expanded) in 2015. To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe, In Recognition of their Desperation (2013) is based on the eponymous 1970 score by avant-garde feminist composer Pauline Oliveros, filmed in Funkhaus Nalepastraße, the former GDR radio studios in Berlin, and featuring performances by the musicians Rachel Aggs, Peaches, Catriona Shaw, Verity Susman, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, and William Wheeler. The work had its premiere as part of their solo show at Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe in 2013 and was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in a special event with the artists, Pauline Oliveros, and Gregg Bordowitz in 2014. Boudry/Lorenz’s recent catalogues include Temporal Drag, published by Hatje Cantz in 2011; Aftershow Sternberg Press, 2014; and I Want, Sternberg Press, 2016.
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