Exhibition presented as part of the Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale d’art contemporain

General Curators: Céline Kopp and Étienne Bernard
Associate Curator: 40mcube

Wednesday to Saturday, 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Closed on public holidays

48 avenue Sergent Maginot
35000 Rennes

As part of the Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale d’art contemporain 2018, curated by Étienne Bernard and Céline Kopp, 40mcube presents a video installation by the Swiss artists duo Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz.

In their statement for this edition of the Ateliers de Rennes, curators Étienne Bernard and Céline Kopp «wish to highlight a plurality of artistic practices that operate in the cracks of the systems governing our contemporary societies. The biennale will thus be the outcome of a dialogue bringing together thirty international artists, from diverse generations and different origins, whose works define other ways of inhabiting the world and imagining the collective being» (1).

Within the framework of this project and these intentions, 40mcube has chosen to present the work of Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, and more particularly the video installation I Want, for its ability to mobilize gender and identity issues in a new way, by crossing references and playing on a strangeness that Renate Lorenz develops under the term «freak» in her theoretical work Art Queer: a Freak theory (2).

«Working as a duo since 2007, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz offer cinematographic installations revisiting documents from the past, photos, scores or films, drawing from deleted or unreadable queer history. These works present bodies that are able to cross and weave links between eras, thus suggesting the possibility of a queer future» (3).

I want is an installation with a double video projection. A person on a stage addresses us, like a one man-woman show. The text this character states is a combination of Kathy Acker ’s punk poems as well as chats and statements from whistleblower Bradley Manning, a US army analyst who revealed secret documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2010. Sentenced to 35 years in prison, he began the process of changing sex and became Chelsea Manning, who was pardoned in 2017 by Barack Obama, a decision that Donald Trump had recently tried to reverse…

The text played by the performer Sharon Hayes thus combines two sources, reproducing the writing style of Kathy Acker, which can be considered as hacking. This appropriation allows a re-reading of the facts, the revelation of sensitive military documents such as the exposure of transgender identity constituting a strong resistance and a transgression of the State. The two video projections, almost identical and presented side by side, reinforce the idea of a duplication while encompassing the spectator who finds himself in a frontal way, facing the scene and the character, in a disturbing close relationship. A way of questioning ourselves on the established standards…

(1) Extract from the presse release of À cris ouverts, 6th edition of the Ateliers de Rennes – Contemporary art biennal, Rennes, 2018.
(2) Renate Lorenz, Art Queer : une théorie Freak, éditions B42, collection culture, 2018.
(3) Presentation on the occasion of the interview with Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Geneva contemporary art centre, 2016.

Anne Langlois

Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz are represented by Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam) and Marcelle Alix (Paris).
They will represent Switzerland at the Venice Biennale 2019.