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The Expanded Cinema action “Cutting” is paradigmatic for VALIE EXPORT’s experimental short circuits between the “apparatus” of the medium of film and the medium of the body, as part of her critical approach to media phenomena—an approach that ensured a strong structural link between technology, ideology and everyday life practice.
“Cutting” consist of a “screen action”, a “skin action” and a “body action” whereby the movie screen in its conventional function as an invisible surface for the illusionistic film image becomes transformed and appears in different materials: in parts one and two a slide projector sheds its light on two large screens made of paper that are then both cut by the artist. First she opens windows as in the facade of a house, finally revealing her own face—assuming the roles of movie star, director and editor in one person. On the second screen EXPORT cuts letters out of the paper in order to write a sentence dedicated to Marshall McLuhan, the last word being spoken by herself and manifesting the difference between written and spoken language. The third “screen,” a T-shirt showing the circular Bazooka Joe label, is worn by a man. EXPORT cuts out the label with her scissors, causing the man’s hairy skin to appear in the round opening. In the fourth and final part, “Homage à Greta Garbo”, the artist shaves a film-like vertical strip on of the breast and belly of her protagonist.

  • Artist: VALIE EXPORT
  • Original Title: Cutting
  • Year: 1967-1968
  • Material: 7 b&w photographs and video documentation
  • Dimensions: various dimensions
  • Inventory no.: K010
  • Category: mixed media
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