View of “Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz,” 2011–12.

Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz

Marcelle Alix

View of “Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz,” 2011–12.

Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz’s exhibition “Salomania” focused on the infatuation that performers and authors have had with the New Testament figure of Salomé. Her veiled sexuality and exoticism have often been perceived as arousing a perverse desire, itself a manifestation of a preoccupation with the dark relationship between Eros and Thanatos, epitomized by the trading of her sensual dance for the head of John the Baptist. Oscar Wilde’s controversial 1891 play Salomé was the origin of much of the dancer’s modern mythology and is one of Boudry and Lorenz’s main references, which also include passages from Flaubert’s short story “Hérodias” as well as from his Egyptian journal, and particularly the Russian-born actress and film producer Alla Nazimova’s bizarre 1923 silent-screen adaptation of Wilde’s play, realized in Hollywood with a cast rumored to have been made up exclusively

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