May 6, 2021

Lorenza Böttner
Requiem for the Norm

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University

Lorenza Böttner, Face Art, 1983. Black and white photograph. Private Collection.

Lorenza Böttner, untitled, 1982. Black and white photograph. Private Collection.

Lorenza Böttner, untitled, 1982. Black and white photograph. Private Collection.

Curated by Paul B. Preciado

The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery presents the first major monographic survey of Chilean/German artist Lorenza Böttner’s lifework. Lorenza Böttner: Requiem for the Norm is curated by philosopher Paul B. Preciado, one of the leading thinkers in the study of gender and sexual politics.

Ernst Lorenz Böttner was born in Chile in 1959. He lost both his arms following an accident at the age of eight. During his rehabilitation process in Germany, the young Ernst Lorenz rejected prosthetics and being educated as a disabled child. It was during his studies in visual arts in Kassel that Böttner assumed a publicly female identity and took the name Lorenza.

This trans and disabled artist offers a daring exploration of the simultaneity of embodiments and the complexity of gender expression. Over a short period of sixteen years interrupted by her death from AIDS-related causes in 1994, she produced over two hundred works painting and drawing with her mouth and feet, working in photography, installation and dance, and often performing in the public space of the street as she traveled the world. The exhibition also features documentary videos, correspondence and photographs from her archives.

Philosopher and curator Paul B. Preciado states that Lorenza is “a pioneering critic of the hegemony of artists who “paint with their hands” and the frames of visibility in which bodies are seen as normal or pathological, Lorenza Böttner’s work is now an indispensable reference for conceiving visuality in the twenty-first century.”

Requiem for the Norm is accompanied by a series of public programs featuring artist, writer and advocate Sharona Franklin, intersectional scholar Alexandre Baril, inclusive dance company Corpuscule Danse and film critic Angelo Muredda who will respond to the multitude of issues in relation to ableism and transness raised in the exhibition.

Curator and Philosopher Paul B. Preciado will be delivering a lecture online on Saturday May 22 at 12:30pm EDT.

This circulating exhibition is produced by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in collaboration with Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart and La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona.

Paul B. Preciado is a writer, philosopher, curator and one of the leading thinkers in the study of gender and sexual politics. He studied at the New School for Social Research in New York under Agnes Heller and Jacques Derrida and obtained his doctorate in philosophy and the theory of architecture at Princeton University. He has been Curator of Public Programs of documenta 14 (Kassel/Athens), Head of Research of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) and has taught Philosophy of the Body and Transfeminist Theory at Université Paris VIII-Saint Denis and at New York University. He is the author of Countersexual Manifesto (trans. 2018); Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in The Pharmacopornographic Era (trans. 2013); Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics (2019); An Apartment in Uranus: Chronicles of the Crossing (trans. 2020), which are key references for queer, trans and non-binary contemporary art and activism. His last book, Can the monster speak? will be published in English in 2021 by Semiotexte and Fitzcarraldo. He contributes on a regular basis to the print and online journals Libération and Médiapart. He was born in Spain and lives in Paris.

Contact: T 514 848 2424 ext. 4047 / ellen.artgallery [​at​]

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