Lorenza Böttner: Requiem for the Norm

Lorenza Böttner was born Ernst Lorenz Böttner in Chile in 1959. At the age of eight, Böttner was electrocuted while climbing a pylon, following which both arms were amputated. After studying painting in Kassel, Böttner transitioned genders and learned to paint with her feet and mouth, also working in photography, drawing, dance, installation and performance. Böttner died of HIV-related complications in 1994. Although Chilean writers Roberto Bolaño and Pedro Lemebel wrote about Böttner in their respective 1996 novels Estrella Distante and Loco Afán, her work was long neglected until its debut at the 2017 Documenta, thanks to the efforts of acclaimed writer, philosopher and curator Paul B. Preciado.
Assembled by Preciado, ‘Requiem for the Norm’ is the first comprehensive publication on an artist whose work is a celebration of life and a defiance of the processes that seek to desubjectify, desexualize, lock up and “disappear” bodies that are transgender or function differently.