LORENZA BÖTTNER, ART AS ACTIVISM
Until February the 3rd, at La Virreina Center de la Imatge (Barcelona, Spain), a retrospective dedicated to Chilean artist Lorenza Böttner (Punta Arenas, Chile, 1959 - Munich, Germany, 1994) is exhibited. Consequence of a co-production between La Virreina Center de la Imatge and the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany), the exhibition inaugurated in early November and was conceived under Paul B. Preciado’s curatorship with Viktor Neumann, Pere Pedrals and Andrea Linnenkohl collaboration.
Requiem por la norma (Requiem for the norm) - the title of the retrospective - is the first monographic exhibition about Lorenza Böttner’s career that takes place within international dimensions. Considered one of the most audacious criticisms of the disability processes, desexualization, internment and invisibility to which bodies with functional diversity and transgender bodies are subjected, her artwork assumes great value at present.
The Chilean artist work is constituted by a wide range of techniques: from photography and painting -made with her mouth or feet- to public performances, Böttner’s career is "a hymn to corporal and gender dissidence". In this way, Requiem por la norma constructs a great political and vital body that promotes the right to freely exist the transgender and functionally diverse bodies within an oppressive and institutionalized system.
As explained from La Virreina Center de la Imatge this retrospective represents the most complete exposition of Böttner's career and is presented as an "irreverent and vitalist manifesto for the rights of transgender people with functional diversity, as well as a journey to the unique and singular work of an artist called to become a twentieth-century classic. "
About Lorenza Böttner
Born in a German family as Ernst Lorenz Böttner in 1959 in Chile, she suffered an accident at age eight where she lost both arms. Educated in Germany, Lorenz was institutionalized along with the so-called "children of the Contergan" - born with deformations in its members because of the side effects of this sleeping pill in the fetus - and treated as "disabled". Faced with medical diagnosis and social expectations, Lorenz decided to study at the Higher School of Art in Kassel, and began to paint and make public performances embodying a female identity under the name of Lorenza Böttner. In the eighties she participated actively in the Disabled Artists Network with Sandra Aronson and defended the existence of a genealogy of artists without hands that worked with the mouth and feet.