VALIE EXPORT, Tapp und Tastkino, 1968
Tapp und Tastkino

VALIE EXPORT (*1940, Austria) is one of Austria’s most prominent artists since the late 1960s and was one of the most important pioneers of feminist art in the 1960s and 70s. She explores radical questions about the conditioning of reality and the artistic representation of mental states. In her performances, conceptual photographs, videos and experimental films, she explores how women are constructed by the dominant gaze. She also develops strategies of subverting, refusing and overcoming the loss of self. She has been influenced by feminism, Viennese Actionism and Expanded Cinema. In 2007, she took part in the Venice Biennale and documenta 12. The Centre Georges Pompidou devoted an entire room to her in 2008. In 2009, she and Silvia Eiblmayr were the commissioners of the Austrian Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale. The city of Linz purchsed her archive in 2015 and opened the Valie Export Center for media and performance art research. In 2020 she announced the donation of her film works to ORF television.

artist's website:

As usual, the film is ‘shown’ in the dark. But the cinema has shrunk somewhat – only two hands fit inside it. To see (i.e. feel, touch) the film, the viewer (user) has to stretch his hands through the entrance to the cinema. At last, the curtain which formerly rose only for the eyes now rises for both hands. The tactile reception is the opposite of the deceit of voyeurism. For as long as the citizen is satisfied with the reproduced copy of sexual freedom, the state is spared the sexual revolution. Tap and Touch Cinema is an example of how re-interpretation can activate the public. VALIE EXPORT

Courtesy VALIE EXPORT & Charim Galerie, Vienna

Document media
Video, b&w, sound, 2:00 min

Issue date

Cornelia Sollfrank (SOL 1)
Ewa Partum (PAR 1))

gaze, mass media, patriarchy, public space, touch, voyeurism