Valie Export Society
From the Portfolio of Doggedness
Valie Export Society (Kadi Estland, Mari Laanemets, Killu Sukmit) was founded in 1999 an attempt to fill gap in feminist art in Estonia. In their remakes of performances by VALIE EXPORT, Yoko Ono and Ann-Sofi Sidén, the members of VES use their bodies as instruments to radicalise gender relations and blur the borders between art and life. The VES collective concentrates on the specific shift in meaning that occurs in these performances through different social, local and temporal contexts.
Valie Export Society (VES) borrowed its name and numerous performances from the feminist performance and media artist VALIE EXPORT. Their Touch Cinema refers to EXPORT’s Tapp– und Tastkino (Tap and Touch Cinema) (1968), which criticised cinema as a realm of male projections. Homometer II is also a remake of a public performance Homo Meter II by EXPORT from 1976. For this, the three women artists stood on a street in Tallinn with a loaf of bread tied to their stomachs, offering to cut off a piece for passers-by. The VES artists also walked an art critic on a leash through the centre of the Estonian capital in an action based on EXPORT’s Aus der Mappe der Hundigkeit (From the Portfolio of Doggishness) (1968) (compare Cornelia Sollfrank).
Courtesy Valie Export Society