In the solo exhibition Die Hände mit den Füßen fassen [Grasping the Hands With the Feet], Dana Lorenz explores how biographical experiences, social background, and trauma actively inscribe themselves in the body and leave behind their traces. The body thereby becomes an independent and interdependent infrastructure.
The artist’s own biography is the starting point for the expansive installation, which comprises an assemblage consisting of objects, readymades, photographs, and a sound collage that is expanded through an artist book with text, a personal glossary, and an image archive. Having grown up in a working-class milieu in post-reunification East Berlin, Dana Lorenz’s work focuses on experiences of social exclusion and participation, in which moments between shame and resistance become individual ordeals.
How do social exclusions form bodies? How do processes of discrimination manifest themselves in light of class and sexuality as well as the resulting emotions and affects in bodies? How is the perception of bodies shaped by our social position?
These considerations are based on the artist’s examination of class as a social construction as well as questions of class origin and class membership, which are directly linked to both individual and collective bodies (of experience).
In a sensitive, but also humorous manner, Dana Lorenz negotiates the body as a grasping, touching, holding, biting, fighting, grinding, sticky, soft, resilient, billowing product of society, which at the same time is also its agent.
With the dialogically interrelated works, the center of which forms an outsized medical mouth guard – an expression of deeply rooted and resistant tensions – Dana Lorenz creates an installation that testifies to proliferating connections between biographical memories and personal coping strategies, linking them to the politics and aesthetics of the early 2000s and the present. Dana pursues different consistencies, plays with ambiguities, and thereby creates moments of liberation, rebellion, and physical unruliness. So-called bad feelings are reinterpreted and make clear that our actual strength is to be found in vulnerability. Die Hände mit den Füßen fassen [Grasping the Hands With the Feet], thus becomes a queer and feminist infrastructural critique of the body and its structural and transitory environments.
Dana Lorenz is a queer transdisciplinary artist living in Berlin. In 2022, Dana was an artistic research associate for the project REACT — Higher Education — Strengthening Young Researchers at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig. In 2021, they received the INITIAL grant from Akademie der Künste, Berlin and won the first prize of the altonale in Hamburg with the work Re-Writing Gaze. Selected exhibitions include The Alien Everyday at SPOILER Kunstraum, Berlin (2022); MAD TIME WARP CRIP — X QUEER ARTISTS –– Party Office b2b Fadescha, Documenta 15, Kassel (2022); Moderne Ikonografie: Fotografie, Bauhaus und die Folgen 1919 – 2019, Kunstmuseum Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg (2021). In addition to long-term collaborative photographic projects (Asphalt, Steine, Scherben and Trakt IV with Sophia Kesting), Dana led the independent publication platform Edizione Multicolore (together with Fine Bieler) since 2016.
Class Trouble // Klassenkörper
Workshop with Josephine Findeisen
17.6.2023 // 11:00-16:00 (in German language)
Free of charge. No previous knowledge is required. Please register until 15.6.2023: mail@alpha-nova-
In this workshop format, we look at different perspectives on class and classism. The starting point is reading two different texts* together. We take breaks from reading to collect thoughts, clarify questions of understanding and exchange experiences.
In the second workshop block, after a one-hour lunch break, we use body exercises to look at embodied aspects of class inequalities. With the help of body and relaxation exercises we will focus on different physical structures (e.g. skeleton and musculature). To what extent is class a physical experience? How do class inequalities manifest themselves in bodies?
The aim of the workshop is to negotiate complex and sometimes invisible class structures together. No prior knowledge is needed for the body exercises and the work with texts in the workshop.
The workshop will be held mainly in German spoken language – for one of the two texts, knowledge of English is helpful, but not a prerequisite for participation.
*Marc Fisher, Good for nothing (in English); Tanja Abou, Prololesben und Arbeiter*innentöchter (in German)
Josephine Findeisen (*1990, Dresden) studied “Dance, Context, Choreography” at the HZT Berlin. Her choreographic practice explores socio-economic realities and their influence on moving bodies. Josephine is concerned with proletarian perspectives and researches the entanglements of class, gender and body.
Fragen im Liegen, liegende Fragen
[Questions While Lying, Underlying Questions]
with Heike Geißler & Dana Lorenz
5.7.2023 // 18:30-20:00 (in German language)
We ask ourselves and ask into the room and ask everyone. We don’t trust the answers (yet). We could (not) need the answers. We could keep going like this. Dana Lorenz and Heike Geißler follow up on their exchange, which they conducted primarily by means of audio messages, with questions, thus exploring the vast terrain of social origins, the resulting entanglements, obstacles, and possibilities.
Heike Geißler is a writer. She lives in Leipzig. Her most recent publications are the essay Liegen. Eine Übung (Rohstoff/ Matthes & Seitz, 2022), the film essay Das Jetzige (GfzK, 2020-2022), the novel Die Woche (Suhrkamp, 2022), the reportage novel Saisonarbeit (Spector Books, 2014), the literary project Check your habitus, curated by Daniela Dröscher, the money mani bucate money fest, the exhibition Die demokratische Schnecke. She is co-editor of the magazine series Lücken kann man lesen and part of the collective George Bele.
Kollagen und Elastin, dazwischen Cortisol
[Collagen and elastin, cortisol in between]
A conversation with Dana Lorenz & Antkek Engel
15.7.2023 // 19:00 (in German language)
Dana Lorenz and Antkek Engel (feminist queer theorist and philosopher) speak about “ver_körperungen” [embodiments] processes and their artistic materialization in light of class origin and biographical experience amidst Lorenz’s installation. The concept of “ver_körperungen“ is coined by the Institute for Queer Theory, which is directed by Antkek Engel and whose approaches can be found in individual works and conceptual reflections by Dana Lorenz. The undetermined body as a complex vessel of knowledge along time and space, affects and resistances is at the center of the conversation.
Antkek Engel (no pronoun, ens, they) is a feminist queer theorist and philosopher dedicated to the disambiguation of genders, sexualities, categories and social relations. Engel has held various guest professorships and heads the Institute for Queer Theory (iQt) in Berlin, founded by ens, as a freelance researcher. Since 2006, events and projects have been taking place there that combine science, art and cultural practices as well as activism.