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To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation

Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz / Germany, Switzerland, UK / 2013 / 18 min

Section: Art


Directors: Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz

Screenplay: Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz

Cinematography: Bernadette Paassen

Editing: Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz

Sound: Johanna Wienert, Rashad Becker

Performance: Rachel Aggs, Peaches, Catriona Shaw, Verity Susman, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, William Wheeler

Producers: Pauline Boudry, Renate Lorenz

World sales: Ellen de Bruijne Projects (world)

Language: without dialogue


The work "To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation" (2013) is a to-camera performance, in which six musicians play the score entitled "To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation" – a work written in 1971 by an experimental composer, Pauline Oliveros. The work was created on the basis of the Scum Manifesto (SCUM - Society for Cutting Up Men) by Valerie Solanas, in which the feminist writer and activist proved that it is possible for a society composed of women only to function effectively. Nevertheless, unlike the original, which was written as an orchestral (chamber orchestra) work, the piece by Oliveros is played on a guitar, synthesizer and theremin. A 16 mm camera itself is an additional “active” performer in the work. The camera is constantly moving and interacting with the musicians in a single endless shot, which is then modulated in the process of montage – highlighting close-ups and fetishizing details of the body, instruments and costumes. In "To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of their Desperation", the author asks about the possibilities and limitations of the political character of music and film forms – can sound, rhythm and light become constituents of a revolution? Does intervention and split-up of outdated structures release the feminist and the anomalous?

Description after the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. 




Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz_photo_B

The works by the duet, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz (born 1972 in Lausanne and in 1963 in Berlin, respectively) are multi-layered to-camera performances usually recorded with a 16 mm camera. Their subject matter is founded in the revision of materials from the past including, in particular, photographs and films, which bring to light the daily forgotten, unprecedented queer moments in the history. Most of the works are focused on the revealing of the history of discourses and practice concerning biological sex and cultural gender, as well as on analyses of the notion of visibility from early modernism until now. They show how stageability and visibility of the anomalous become the function of empowerment, glamour and recognition on the one hand and devaluation, pathologization and criminalization on the other. 


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