Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz : Toxic Play in Two Acts

Curated by Electra, which is 'a London based contemporary art organisation which curates, commissions and produces projects by artists working across sound, moving image, performance and the visual arts' probably best known for producing Her Noise Archive and Documentary, and bringing Her Noise to Tate Modern in 2012.

Here is an excerpt of heir statement on the show Toxic Play In Tow Acts, which I strongly recommend:
'Toxic, 2012, is a new work drawing on the artists' ongoing interest in the Theatre of the Ridiculous - performances by Jack Smith, with scripts and films by Ronald Tavel, in the late 1960s in New York - which formulated a mocking and outrageous queer critique of capitalism and the normalisation of bodies. The installation presents performances by Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Werner Hirsch, which explore ideas of both the toxic, and of toxicity - substances and people that threaten and destabilise conventional notions of purity and stability. Ultimately turning the lens on itself, Toxic interrogates the filmic apparatus as a medium of toxic substances and effects. The film installation is accompanied by local archival research from Paris and London that charts moments of representational ambiguity in the early history of police photography.'

Salomania, 2009

There will be a screening on the 1 February at Tate Tanks, art of another Electra's production: Charming for the Revolution: A Congress for Gender Talents and Wildness
and on the 20 February at the South London Gallery: Reflections Without Sun

in the meantime check out Pauline and Renate's website.

Sanja Ivekovic: Unkown Heroine

I have visited Ivekovic's exhibition at the South London Gallery (part of the Unknown Heroine exhibition between this venue and Calvert 22) with Karen, little Nancy and little Matilde. Here are some notes.
I've known Ivekovic's work through a catalog offered to me by a friend a couple of years ago, so I was quite excited to see it for the first time. The 1970s video work is what I found most interesting, specially 'Instructions nº1' from 1976, where the artist draws little arrows on her face, similar to those a plastic surgeon would make, and then massages them out blurring the ink onto her face. More striking perhaps because the artist is very young in this video and one could even state, quite beautiful. Nonetheless society's construction of beauty sets such standards that even a perfectly wealthy young woman would find something in need of correction.

Many of Ivekovic's works in this gallery confront images taken from the media and the artist's own image, or images of other young women, this strategy is applied in more recent works as well, where for example fashion images are confronted with the very same imagery that produced them, such as 'Figure and Ground' 2005/6

or in works where fashion images of women wearing sun glasses is brought together with short stories of domestic violence in order to produce a sleek catalog. I did wonder about the repetition of the 1970s strategies nowadays, their effectiveness, or if they become yet another shinny object of desire. Perhaps if I had encountered this mock-magazine on other circumstances, such as waiting for a dentist appointment,  I would find them effective, but maybe is only my own artistic wishful thinking - for it would be a strategy I would also use.

Going specifically to see Ivekovic's work I was more fascinated by another exhibition, 'Toxic Play in Two Acts' (my notes here) by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, which I strongly recommend.

The exhibition is on until the 24 February 2013.
South London Gallery
65-67 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UH
Calvert 22

Hopefully I will manage to see the other part before it finishes.


Ana Velez e Inês Norton

Na galeria Bloco103
[Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 103B - Lisboa]
inauguração 5.ª feira, dia 31 de Janeiro, às 19h30.

Ana Velez
Inês Norton

Charming for the Revolution: A Congress for Gender Talents and Wildness

1–2 February 2013
The Tanks at Tate Modern
Bankside, London

A collaboration between Tate Modern and Electra

Charming for the Revolution is an experimental congress of artists, activists and thinkers who seek to unpick underpinning, pressing questions of contemporary sexual and gender politics; exploring strategies that divert and destabilise normative gender and its representations. The series of events gathers several major international figures who explore radical expressions of sexuality and gender. Their work invokes what Kathy Acker called the ‘languages of wonder, not of judgment’ to imagine new paths to liberation and social justice. This constellation of events at Tate Modern will highlight a range of positions, representations and manifestos to assess and debate an exciting, emerging field of shifting identities, active communities and political dreams.
The series features films, performance and a major international symposium and brings together the UK premiere of Wu Tsang‘s award-winning film Wildness alongside a new performance by Kelela, Ashland Mines, and Wu Tsang; a symposium convened by Carlos Motta with Xabier ArakistainGiuseppe Campuzano, J. Jack Halberstam, Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, Beatriz Preciado, Dean Spade, Terre Thaemlitz, Wu Tsang, Del LaGrace Volcano and Campbell X; a new performance by Carlos Motta and Matthias Sperling; and a screening of works by Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz.
Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz Friday 1 February, 19h
The work of Berlin-based artist duo Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz reflects on the interplay of sexuality, sexual perversions and representation, continuously returning to unrepresented or illegible moments in history. This screening and artists’ conversation brings together three recent works by Boudry/Lorenz: a staging of punk archives from a period between 1970 and 2031 in No Future/No Past; a radical reimagining of the housewife set in Berlin Zoo in Charming for the Revolution; and a layering of labour, class, desire and drag in Normal Work. Here a host of characters are portrayed, living—indeed thriving—in defiance of convention, law and economy.
Gender Talents: A Special AddressSaturday 2 February, 10.30–16.30h
Gender Talents: A Special Address, convened and moderated by artist Carlos Motta, presents an international group of thinkers, activists and artists in a symposium that uses the manifesto as a structure. These ‘special addresses’ will explore models and strategies that transform the ways in which society perversely defines and regulates bodies. The event asks what is at stake when collapsing, inverting or abandoning the gender binary.
Participants: Xabier ArakistainGiuseppe Campuzano, J. Jack Halberstam, Carlos Motta, Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, Beatriz Preciado, Dean Spade, Terre Thaemlitz, Wu Tsang, Del LaGrace Volcano, and Campbell X.
Carlos Motta and Matthias Sperling: The Movers  Saturday 2 February, 16.30h
The Movers is a performance conceived in collaboration between Carlos Motta and choreographer Matthias Sperling. The work attends to movement as a means of exploring the connections between collective politics and a sense of the individual. Based on a choreographic score of performative tasks that engage thirteen performers in individual decision-making processes, The Movers abstractly asks how self-determination is both a deeply personal project and continuously negotiated in relation to others.
Performers: Ingo Andersson – Wotever World, Jason Barker, Dan Daw, Simon Foxall, Fred Gehrig, Nia Hughes, Jamila Johnson Small, Helka Kaski, Huai-Chih Liang, Vicky Malin, Malinda Mukuma, Carlos Maria Romero, and Mickel Smithen & Ebony Rose Dark.
The Movers is part of Gender Talents, a Creative Capital Project.
Wu Tsang: WildnessSaturday 2 February, 20h
Wildness is a portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar on the eastside of Los Angeles that has catered to the Latin immigrant and queer community since 1963. With a touch of magical realism, the bar itself becomes a character in the film. Voiced by a transgender actress from Guatemala, it whispers the histories of the LGBT community for whom it has provided sanctuary and a ‘safe space’ for generations.
The film captures the creativity and conflict that ensue when a group of young, queer artists of colour (Wu Tsang, DJs NGUZUNGUZU and Total Freedom) organise a weekly performance party, also called Wildness, at the bar. This emergent underground interfaces with the immigrant transwomen who have long populated the venue and the Silver Platter becomes a charged forum for forging coalitions and exploring class, community and activism.
Kelela, Ashland Mines, and Wu Tsang: Breakdown Saturday 2 February, 21.30h
Breakdown is a performance conceived for the Tanks by Kelela, Ashland Mines, and Wu Tsang. Part grand illusion and part humble direct action, this stage show is meant to explore the idea of honesty. Honesty not in the sense of being morally upright, but in the sense of being true to desires or needs. The artists use basic elements of voice, sound, and light to create continuity (storytelling) through a series of constructions/breakdowns, in which the song is simultaneously the derivative and the original. Breakdown is part of an ongoing series of parties/sound/experiences that began in Los Angeles.
A combined ticket for all events is available.
Tate Film is supported by Maja Hoffmann / LUMA Foundation.
Electra is supported by Arts Council England.
Realised with the kind support of Creative Capital, IFA The Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen and the Norwegian Embassy.