Boudry/Lorenz - Normal Work & Toxic
Boudry/Lorenz Normal Work & Toxic
At the opening on Saturday 28 May 2016, there is an artists' talk with Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz, and director Charles Esche in the Studio at 15.00. Entrance to the museum will be free from 14.30, the museum is open until 17.00.
In this presentation two film installations by Boudry/Lorenz are shown; Normal Work (2007) and Toxic (2012). They are based on performances that examine the history of photography and its connection to sexuality and lived intimacies. The body is a central part of their work, as an instrument to rework social, cultural and political power structures. They destabilize norms, creating space for different knowledge and experiences to emerge.
Questions of gender and sexual identity in today’s multicultural society with complex power relationships seem urgent. In their work Boudry/Lorenz critique the notion of identities as fixed that have limits in relation to others. The two film installations in this presentation approach this subject from a historical perspective.
Normal Work (2007) concerns the way in which Hannah Cullwick, a servant in nineteenth-century Victorian England, broke down views on gender and social class through photography.
In Toxic (2012) the power struggle between the photographed subject, the photographer and the observer have a central place.
Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz live and work in Berlin. They started their collaboration in 2007 and often work with the same performers, in this case, Werner Hirsch and Ginger Brooks Takahashi. Over the last few years they have come to international prominence. It is the first time that their work is exhibited in a Dutch museum and will be included in a Dutch public collection.
The presentation Normal Work & Toxic is one of a number of projects at the Van Abbe in 2016 that examine queering as a methodology for engaging with the museum.
Donated to the collection
Normal Work and Toxic were recently donated to the Van Abbemuseum by Eindhoven collector Maurice van Valen.