Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz. Silent

In partnership with the Biennale of Moving Images (Geneva)

Curators: Caroline Bourgeois, Cecilia Alemani, Elvira Dyangani Ose

Artists: Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz

February 24, 2017 - April 8, 2017

Opening: February 23, 2017, 5:30 pm

The Galerie de l’UQAM and the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève are joining forces to present in Montréal a component of the Biennale of Moving Images 2016. This first collaboration is part of an international dissemination approach for this important event that distinguishes itself from most of the existing biennales by the fact that it is exclusively made up of new works, all of which are produced by the Centre and its partners.

Among the 27 new works produced by the Biennale of Moving Images, the Galerie de l’UQAM chose the film installation Silent by Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, two artists based in Berlin. Presented in an impeccably white room, Silent is interested in the aggressive experience of being constrained to silence, and in silence as an act of powerful and performative resistance.

The exhibition

Silent starts with an interpretation of John Cage‘s score 4´33´´ (1952). The score is conceived for any instrument and instructs its performer not to play their instrument during the entire duration of the three parts of 30s, 2m 23s and 1m 40s.  In the Boudry and Lorenz installation, the musician Aérea Negrot performs the score on a rotating stage placed on Oranienplatz, a public square in Berlin where a refugee protest camp took place between 2012 and 2014. In a second part of the film, she performs a song, which has been composed for the occasion.

Dear President,
Your profile is vague,
You have no arms, no hair, no legs, and no sex
Your enemy is your lover
I need make-up, underwear and hormones!

– Aérea Negrot in Silent by Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz

Silence has been described either as a violent experience, as in being silenced, or as a powerful performative act of resistance, as it has been carried out by various disobedience movements around the world. Silent asks how both moments are intertwined. It focuses on the performance of a silent act, which might allow for agency, strength and even pleasure without erasing the traces of violence and vulnerability. The film suggests a dialogue between being silent and sounding rather than seeing them as mutually excluding.

The artists

Working as a duo since 2007, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz propose films and performances that revisit filmic and audio material from the past, excavating unrepresented or illegible moments of queer history. These works present a corpus capable not only of traveling across epochs, but also of imagining links between those epochs, so foreshadowing the possibility of a queer future. Their recent solo exhibitions include: Portrait of an Eye, Kunsthalle Zürich (2015), Loving, Repeating, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2015), Patriarchal Poetry, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2013), Aftershow, CAPC, Bordeaux (2013), Toxic Play in Two Acts, South London Gallery, London (2012), Contagieux! Rapports contre la normalité, Centre d´art contemporain de Genève, Geneva (2011). Several catalogues have been published about their work: Temporal Drag, Hatje Cantz (2011), Aftershow, Sternberg Press (2014) and I Want, Sternberg Press (2016). The Montréal public has recently been able to appreciate their work in the solo exhibition To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse in the Spring of 2016.

The Biennale of Moving Images

Since its inception in 1985, the Biennale of Moving Images has provided a platform for art and ideas by surveying the ever-shifting territories of moving images while aiming to make sense of this extraordinary profusion of images that has progressively invaded all aspects of contemporary art. Organized by the Centre d’art contemporain de Genève, the 2016 Biennale of Moving Images featured, from November 9, 2016 to January 29, 2017, 27 new productions commissioned, produced and/or supported by the Centre d’art contemporain for the occasion. They were presented as installations, performances or films. Under the artistic direction of Andrea Bellini, director of the Centre d’art contemporain de Genève, the 2016 Biennale of Moving Images was curated by Cecilia Alemani, director and curator of the High Line Art (New York), Caroline Bourgeois, chief curator and conservator of the Pinault Collection (Paris) and Elvira Dyangani Ose, curator and lecturer in visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, and member of the Thought Council at the Fondazione Prada.

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