There are also stories of individuals who have resisted persecution and intolerance, such as Lorenza Böttner, born Ernst Lorenz Böttner, who lived in the city of Lichtenau, not far from Kassel, in the 1970s. Lorenza, who identified as a transgender female, had both arms amputated as a young boy, following a crippling electric shock induced by climbing a pylon.
Later in life, as Lorenza, she would go on to study at the Kassel School of Art, and learn to paint with her feet and mouth. Some of her canvases are on view in the Neue Galerie: romantic self-portraits that show her feminized, armless form, some of which place her within archetypal female imagery. She would become an ardent advocate for disability rights, performing her foot-and-mouth painting in public and arguing for the acceptance and canonization of disabled artists.
Many of the subjects of this documenta, curator Paul Preciado offered, could have been the subjects of ethnographic vitrines. “We have been given agency to destroy the vitrines,” he said, urging visitors to see documenta 14 as a “new institution in transition.”