Pauline Boudry, born in Lausanne in 1972, Brigitte Kuster, born in Berlin in 1970, and Renate Lorenz, born in Berlin in 1963, have worked together since 1997 as a collective called k_b_l. The artists are active as a group as well as individually in the production of queer and feminist art projects and as editors of works including Reproduktionskonten Fälschen! Heterosexualität, Arbeit und Zuhause (1999) and Sexuell Arbeiten. Eine queere Perspektive auf Arbeit und prekäres Leben (2007). Boudry and Lorenz also worked together as a duo, and have been present in numerous international solo and group exhibitions. Renate Lorenz, who studied drama, theater, and media at the University Giessen and media art in Cologne, teaches at various universities in the area of gender theory. Pauline Boudry, who completed her studies at the art academy in Geneva, plays in the band Rhythm King and her Friends and has been a visiting professor at the Berlin-Weißensee School of Art since 2005. Brigitte Kuster, who studied art in Lucerne, is active as a video artist and author, and also in various political initiatives, such as Anbau neue Mitte, RESPECT, and Gesellschaft für Legalisierung.
As k_b_l, the artists are devoted to a long-term, transdisciplinary research project, which by referring to various historical and current working realities, shows the interlinking of work and sexuality. The project covers art, film, theater, music, and theory and has its own website www.queeringwork.de. The production of subjectivity at the workplace is investigated from a queer-feminist perspective. The artists analyze processes of power and dominance that produce gender and sexual identities. The term “sexual work” is used by k_b_l to address behaviors that train sexuality and gender along existing norms, as well as techniques of reworking social assignments and relations. The starting point of the most recent work by Boudry and Lorenz are historical photographs and films, which they question in terms of the meaning of visibility of sexual and gender positions. In addition, they reflect on the relationship of photography to colonial economies of the waning nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with regard to the production of images of the foreigner, the Other. These works, too, examine the labor necessary for the production of recognized representations of sexuality and gender, and are concerned with the issue of how it is possible to live difference.