Lorenza Böttner exhibition arrives at Concordia’s Ellen Art Gallery

Exhibition explores the work of the pioneer trans artist
May 10, 2021
Lorenza Böttner created more than 200 individual works over a 16-year-period.

The first major monographic survey of Chilean-German artist Lorenza Böttner’s lifework is now on display at Concordia’s Ellen Art Gallery.

Lorenza Böttner: Requiem for the Norm launched April 29 and is curated by philosopher Paul B. Preciado, a leading thinker in the study of gender and sexual politics.

The exhibition, which is open to the public, runs until June 19, 2021, and explores Böttner’s multidisciplinary work, as well as documentaries, correspondence and photographs from her archive.

“Embracing pain, vulnerability, and sickness, but also joy, freedom, and pleasure, Lorenza’s work is a critique of the Western medical taxonomy and of the political difference between the normal and the pathological, a critique that will progressively extend to gender, sexual and race binaries,” writes philosopher Paul B. Preciado.

Born Lorenza Böttner in 1959, Böttner was assigned male at birth. After losing her/his arms in an electrical accident at eight years old, s/he refused prosthetics and conventional rehabilitation methods, turning instead to dancing, painting and drawing. While in art school s/he began identifying publicly as a woman, changing her name to Lorenza.

Böttner went on to create more than 200 individual works over a 16-year-period, painting with her feet and mouth and using dance, photography, street performance, drawing and installation to celebrate the complexity of embodiment and gender expression. She died of AIDS-related complications in 1994 at age 34.

This exhibition is an extraordinary opportunity to delve into the issues of gender, sexual and ableist norms, says Michèle Thériault, director of the Ellen Gallery.

Lorenza’s work addresses these all at once, and philosopher Paul B. Preciado demonstrates how indispensable her work is to a critique of our way of seeing, perceiving and being in the 21st century.

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,

Preciado will also deliver an online lecture and Q+A on May 22.

Find out more about LORENZA BÖTTNER: REQUIEM FOR THE NORM exhibition.

Learn more about the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia.

Read the Gallery’s Accessibility Guide.


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