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The video shows a performance in which VALIE EXPORT recites an action text while examining a box of chocolates from the candy maker Hofbauer. She analyzes in mock critical fashion the art business with its production and reception mechanisms by comparing the box of bonbons to an artwork. At the same time, she points up the irony of the cliché-laden "charming image of Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral and the rooftops of Vienna," alluding to how Austrian cultural policy at the time was still caught up in the past: "Immediately you realize that you have a work of art before you that captivates with its naturalness, choice of motifs and historical authenticity. [...] This confronts you brutally with the planar present, and in this way, for this is the nature of art, it speaks the plain truth about our trivial age."

Jo.S./V.E.
  • Artist: VALIE EXPORT
  • Original Title: die süße nummer: ein friedliches konsumerlebnis
  • English Title: the sweet number: an experience of consumption
  • Year: 1968/1969
  • Material: video, b&w, sound
  • Dimensions: Duration: 6min, 10sec
  • Inventory no.: K453
  • Category: video
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