Artists: Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz
Venue: Kunsthalle Zürich
Exhibition Title: Portrait of an Eye
Date: August 29 – November 8, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Kunsthalle Zürich. Photos by Annik Wetter.
Contrary to what one might expect, the digitization of our daily lives is being accompanied by an increasing embodiment, both literally and figuratively. Online people take on all kinds of roles and identities, while at the same time their desire and willingness to stage their persona in reality is also becoming stronger. Today the self is increasingly understood as a fluid collage that consciously and unconsciously subjects itself to various scenarios. Drag was one of the few cultural movements to recognize the potential of embodiment, disguise, and performance early on. Both hedonistic and political in its performances, it always questioned ideas of gender roles and normality. With a surprising abruptness this culture and attitude has now been absorbed by the mainstream in the past few years. Stars such as Caitlyn Jenner and Conchita Wurst feature in newspaper headlines, television series, and talk shows, and suddenly drag and transgender cultures appear to offer spaces where authenticity (seemingly paradoxical) is still possible.
End of August two exhibitions will open at the Kunsthalle Zürich in which embodiment and performance play a central role. Portrait of an Eye by Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz will include their new film I Want, among other works, which was commissioned by Kunsthalle Zürich and Nottingham Contemporary. With 3 Frauen, the artist and filmmaker Loretta Fahrenholz will be presenting her first comprehensive museum show. Organized in cooperation with the Fridericianum in Kassel, it features a selection of her films, new photographs, and large-scale 3D-scans of spatial environments.
Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz are among the artists who engage in an archaeology of queer culture with extraordinary precision and critical foresight. Conceiving performances for the camera, they create a dense network, referencing experimental film, the history of photography, and underground (drag) performance to develop pioneering forms of activist aesthetics. Their films reveal the mechanisms of oppression and discrimination, while simultaneously making the emancipatory power of desire and transgression tangible. Works such as To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation (2013), Opaque (2014), and I Want (2015) develop a historical consciousness based on the belief that transgender and drag culture, embodiment and performance, desire and transgression are all a means for knowledge as well as an open and experimental way of better understanding the world.