PAULINE BOUDRY & RENATE LORENZ
Length: 13:00 min.
Specifications: Farbe, Ton, Einkanal
Courtesy the artist
Punk is dead, Glam is dead. Die Show ist vorbei, ohne aufgehört zu haben. Die Show geht weiter, sie muss weitergehen. Mit oder ohne Kamera, mit oder ohne Gift. Ohne Gift geht es nicht, alles ist Gift. Nikotin und Silikon. Ganz viel Glitzer. Glitzer und Licht. Überall. Da ist eine Frau auf der Bühne, ich kann ihre Absätze auf dem Boden hören, sie fragt: »What is bothering you?« Auf der Leinwand vor mir Menschen wie auf Verbrecherfotos: von vorne, von der Seite. Versteinert. Mit einem lauten Klickgeräusch wechseln sie und starren mich an. Leblos. Unglücklich. Einsam. Die Frau fragt mich: »What is bothering you?« Unter den Masken und Kostümen erkenne ich Augen, manchmal ein Lächeln, Tattoos, deren Bedeutung ich nicht kenne. Ich finde einfach keinen Zugang zu diesen Menschen. Oder finden sie keinen Zugang zu mir? What is bothering me? Trage ich auch eine Verkleidung? Ich sehe in den Spiegel – gehöre nicht hierhin und nicht dorthin. Sind wir zur Freiheit verurteilt? Kann ich überhaupt anders, als mich selbst zu verwirklichen? Du bist nichts anderes als das Leben, das du selbst entwirfst, die Entscheidungen, die du selbst triffst. Du trägst keine Maske. Du bist eine Maske. Du bist ein Entwurf, eine Skizze. Du bist ein Bild. Du bist ein Bild von dir. Dein Gesicht ist ein Dia. Du bist eine Projektion. Du bist Glitzer. Und Gift. Ganz viel Gift. Du bist Punk, du bist Glam. Du bist tot. Was nützt dir das schönste Gesicht, wenn deine Seele einer toten Ratte gleicht? Im Dunkeln sind wir alle gleich.
leben und arbeiten in Berlin GER seit 2007
» 1. Your work has been chosen among over 1200 festival entries to participate in VIDEONALE.15. In which context do you prefer to present your work, festival/cinema context or exhibition? And what kind of difference does the respective mode of presentation mean for you / your work?
We usually present our work in exhibitions, we like to build a specific setting that allows the audience to reflect on their gaze and their position in the space.
In order to address the norms of staging bodies, the display of knowledge, and the apparatus of vision, we often integrate the experience of being backstage into the way we stage our installations and exhibitions. Visitors might enter a space and find themselves behind a projection screen or a display case that they have to walk around to view. This “backstage perspective” is a constant preoccupation in our films: What happens beyond the frame? What is the boundary between staged and unstaged moments?
In the exhibition the films are shown as a loop. This underlines that the films
are neither meant to be a unique performance nor a documentation of one.On the one hand, the editing and looping highlight the performance as performative—a constructed and social process that is based on repetition and therefore not unique or individual. On the other hand, the performance paradoxically underlines that this film is nevertheless a “live” event—something that happens between the projection, its context, and the audience.
The tension between a „live“ and „non-live“ event supports our interest to intervene in the politics of time.
» 2. How do you see “The Call of the Wild“ reflected in your work presented at VIDEONALE.15?
For our work „Toxic“, we started with the question how bodies have been constructed as ‚other‘ or as ‚wild‘, especially in the history of photography, – in anthropology, police or medical photography. While working on the film, we came up with a thesis: We thought that it could be useful to see not only substances – chemicals or parts of plants for instance – as toxic but also the filmic apparatus with its history, its social effects, and also with the way we continue to work in it.
We were interested in the public fear of the toxic body, which is in many cases also a queer or a racialised body (as it has been pointed out for instance by the patient movements of the 70ties, the different movements around ability and being crip, or the queer (of colour) / transgender movements).
In general, the toxin interests us, because it is so ambivalent. Its typical feature is that the dosage is deciding: the same substance in a certain dose can be healing or, in a higher dosage, be quite harmful. If it enters the body it stays there as a strange, maybe harmful but exciting, very different, substance. A toxin is something which can’t be digested by the body, it stays there as substance of difference. This is a very interesting model for us when we think about the “other” or the “different” or the “wild”: imagine a body meeting up with a drug or a toxin. It can suggest a connection to difference that is respectful and inviting but not integrating and appropriating.
Our film features in the second part a reenactment of a BBC interview with Jean Genet in 1985, during which he points out to the toxicity of the apparatus he is trapped in. He interrupts the discussion and asks the technicians to take up his position in front of the camera and to speak. When they refuse, he asks the camera to turn over and film the interviewer and his crew. We are interested in this scene, because he describes very well how the position of the camera marginalizes him on the one hand (making him sit in front of his interviewer, like the thief he was, interrogated by the police) and simultaneously makes him enter the norm.
We restaged this scene with Werner Hirsch, and in our version, there is of course some kind of self-irony, as it is clear that the situation “behind the camera” is staged as well. We don’t believe in the possibility to overturn the social order with one big revolutionary gesture. But we don’t want to renounce this gesture either.
» 3. Can you describe your intention for doing art in one sentence?
Everything is political, so why not begin with art?
» 4. In which way is the video medium an excellent possibility to express your intended subjects, especially in contrast to other media you use? Or do you work exclusively with video?
We like to describe our films as “filmed performances”, whereby they are not documenting a performance – performance and the medium film are somehow folded into each other. Instead of taking a number of short takes from different angles, we usually shoot long sequences with our performers in 16mm, which we transfer to HD only afterwards. The film material forces us to be economical, which means that we sometimes produce just one take. In the digital editing process we keep long sequences intact, but we also add cuts, often extreme jump cuts, and repetitions to make our interventions in the performance visible. You often see the clapperboard in the films, which highlights our staging, we sometimes add and stop music abruptly, so the means and the process of production are present.
We also believe in desire as a means that produces connections and creates alternatives in the social and political field. Images, especially filmic images might be a privileged vehicle of transport for those desires.
» 5. If you have the chance to ask the visitors of the VIDEONALE.15 exhibition questions about your own work, what would be your question?
We are interested in any type of exchange. Especially, we would be interesting to hear, at which point somebody felt intoxicated, or: involved in processes around desire, which might intervene into images of self and other.