Paul B. Preciado

Curator and theorist in the fray of debates on gender and identity

‘A work of art is not a work of art if it cannot be destroyed,’ wrote Paul B. Preciado in a response to the Notre-Dame fire in April for Artforum. The curator, theorist and trans activist’s textual iconoclasm, in which he called for the gutted cathedral to be left unrestored as a ‘punk monument’, is in sync with his project to rewrite and queer how we approach culture. In December Preciado republished Countersexual Manifesto in English, a call to ‘overthrow all constraints on what can be done with and to the body’, a radicalism that its author has found kinship with in the work of twentieth-century artist Lorenza Böttner, a survey of whose photography he curated at WKV, Stuttgart, in February. (Böttner was also included in 2017’s Documenta 14, where Preciado served as public programme curator.) In summer, at the Venice Biennale, he took charge of the Taiwanese Pavilion, presenting a solo show of Shu Lea Cheang, and in September he joined the team behind Bergen Assembly.