VALIE EXPORT is one of the most important pioneers on conceptual media art, performance and film. Her artistic work comprises video environments, digital photography, installation, body performances, feature films, experimental films, documentaries, Expanded Cinema, conceptual photography, body-material interactions, Persona Performances, laser installations, objects, sculptures, texts on contemporary art history and feminism. In the focus of EXPORT’s work who conceptually chose her pseudonym (to be written in capital letters) in 1967 and has since her early beginnings programmatically understood herself as a media artist has been the human body that she declared as the material for her taboo breaking, gender critical approach towards sexual politics and its inherent social and cultural  taboos. EXPORT includes technology, specifically technological media in order to analyze its ways of functioning and its various modes and effects of exerting power. Methodologically she practices an experimental "short circuit“ between technical media and the body-as-medium. With various inventive tactics, among them the early Expanded Cinema works, she goes in search of the ways in which media uphold the powerful structural connection between technology, ideology, and the practice of everyday life. In her transgressions of the borders between different media and materials, between forms of expression, the crucial point is always the body, mostly her own body, presented by the artist as a functional part of the “apparatus”, as manipulable material. In this subversive media scenario, the body / the artist is both an active figure and a passive surface for projections, a processed carrier of symbols and information. In the direct “short circuiting” with the media apparatus, the body is revealed as what she refers to as the “locus of civilizing”: “The female body is the site where ‘culture’ erects a blockade against the woman.”




1940, Linz / AT

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
(c) VALIE EXPORT, Photo Werner Schulz
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