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Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Toxic

Les Laboratoires D'Aubervilliers and Palais de Tokyo
18 April - 26 August 2012

Toxic is a new film installation by Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz co-commissioned by Electra together with Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers and La Triennale (Paris, 2012). The project draws on the artists' ongoing interest in the 'Theatre of the Ridiculous' - performances by Jack Smith, scripts and films by Ronald Tavel, in late 1960s New York which formulated an anarchic and outrageous critique of capitalism and the normalisation of bodies. In the work, Boudry/Lorenz have worked in close collaboration with Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Werner Hirsch in a performative exploration of the toxic, and toxicity. The new work will be premiered at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers as part of Intense Proximity, the 2012 Paris Triennale, alongside a seminar with the artists and Nana Adusei-Poku.

Electra will present the first UK solo exhibition by Boudry/Lorenz, including the new commission at the South London Gallery, Winter 2012/13.

Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz's work revisits documents from the past, photographs or films, searching history for erased or illegible 'queer' moments. This work presents corpora capable not only of traveling across epochs, but also of imagining links between those epochs, so foreshadowing the possibility of a queer future. Through their films and installations, the artists appropriate historical images to allow a displacement or a skewing of authority and the means that lead to knowledge.

These questions are at the heart of their new project Toxic, which takes the form of an installation with film, devised in collaboration with the performers Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Werner Hirsch, and a seminar, presented at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers as part of the events accompanying La Triennale. The discourse on toxicity installs violent hierarchies between normal and non-normal/queer bodies, between abled bodies and non-abled bodies, between 'us' and 'strangers', middle-class bodies and working-class bodies. And what happens if another technology and its history (film camera and images instead of chemical substances) is focused from a perspective of toxicity. While the cinematic apparatus tries to allow for unmediated objectivity and knowledge about 'stranger danger' (Sara Ahmed, 2000), it might - as dirty and uncanny by-products - also produce ec/static bodies and queer connections.

Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz live in Berlin. Their last film, No Past/ No Future, was presented in the Swiss Pavilion (Teatro Fondamente Nove) of the Venice Biennale in Nov. 2011. No Past was also shown at Art Basel Statements in 2011 (Ellen de Bruijne Projects). Recent projects include a solo show at Centre d'Art de Genève, Contagieux! Rapports contre la normalité (2010) and the collective exhibitions All I Can See is the Management, Gasworks, London and Re.Act.Feminism #2: a performing archive, Centro Cultural Monterhermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spanish Basque country, 2011). The magazine Art 21 published a monographic essay on their work (winter 2010-2011). A catalogue entitled Temporal Drag has just been released by Hatje-Cantz. Artists' website:

Toxic, film-installation, super 16mm/HD, 20 min., Paris 2012 By: Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz Performers: Werner Hirsch, Ginger Brooks Takahashi Camera: Bernadette Paassen

More information about La Triennale:


April 18 - April 28
Les Laboratoires D'Aubervilliers, 41, rue Lécuyer, 93300 Aubervilliers, Paris
Monday to Friday, 10am - 6pm, Saturday 2pm - 6pm, closed on Sunday.
Free entrance
At Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, Toxic is presented in the theater where the piece was filmed, a place still marked by the original décor. More information

Wednesday 18 April, 5 PM
Private view at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers

Saturday 21 April, 4 PM
Free entrance, to book a place, please email or call +33 153 561 590
Seminar at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers with Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz and Nana Adusei-Poku (in English). More information

April 29 - August 26
Palais de Tokyo, 13 av du President Wilson, 75116 Paris
Screenings during the cinema program of La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Toxic is co-commissioned by Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, La Triennale and Electra, in collaboration with the gallery Marcelle Alix, and with the support of the Goethe Institut. Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers are part of the collaborating institutions of La Triennale, which is organized at the initiative of the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication/DGCA, by the Centre national des arts plastiques and the Palais de Tokyo.

Image credit: Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Toxic. Photograph by the artists after Jack Smith's The Secret of Rented Island

Toxic Play in Two Acts: Fanzine