EXPORT exhibition VALIE EXPORT: "Hyprbulie" (1973) in the exhibition. Photograph: Andreas Süß

VALIE EXPORT (Austria *1940)

VALIE EXPORT has been one of Austria's most prominent artists since the late 1960s. She explores radical questions regarding the conditioning of reality and the artistic representation of mental states. She was influenced by feminism, Viennese Actionism and Expanded Cinema. 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 was Kommissarin (together with Silvia Eiblmayr) of the Austrian Pavillion, 53th Venice Biennale.

VALIE EXPORT was one of the most important pioneers of feminist art in the 1960s and 1970s. In her performances, conceptual photographs, videos and experimental films, she explores how women are constructed by the dominant gaze, and she develops strategies of subverting, refusing and overcoming the loss of self.

In "Hyperbulie" (1973) she demonstrates how thoroughly our bodies and minds are standardized and restrained by the social system. She moves naked through a corridor of wires charged with electric current. She touches the wires over and over, collapsing in pain. She musters all of her energy to reach liberation at the end of the corridor, crawling on all fours.

In "Asemie – die Unfähigkeit, sich durch Mienenspiel ausdrücken zu können" (1973) VALIE EXPORT drips hot wax onto a bird and onto her hands and feet. She then takes a knife in her mouth and cuts herself free from the wax before leaving the podium. The silenced bird and the wax impressions of her hands and feet remain visible. Traces of the emerging image of a female body are challenged by its disappearance. In this performance, VALIE EXPORT also alludes to woman’s speechlessness and the inability of the female body to communicate.

"Orgasmus", one of VALIE EXPORT's first films, is a brief and matter-of-fact treatment of lust. The question of whether the man and woman actually had sexual intercourse and who was responsible for the woman's orgasm remains. (sixpackfilm.com)

"TAPP und TASTKINO" documents VALIE EXPORT's famous performance on the streets of Vienna: On her chest, she strapped a box, a 'mini cinema', in which two hands could fit. "TAPP und TASTKINO" exposes the voyeur and reveals cinema as a screening room for male fantasies.

"...Remote...Remote..." is a bloody film. VALIE EXPORT sits in front of a photograph of two children who were abused by their parents. She cuts at her cuticles with a knife until blood from her hands drips into a bowl of milk.

EXPORT exhibition

VALIE EXPORT: "Hyperbulie" (1973). image copyright: VALIE EXPORT, courtesy Charim Galerie, Wien


In the Exhibition:

"Asemie - die Unfähigkeit sich durch Mienenspiel ausdrücken zu können", 1973. Photographs of action. "Hyperbulie", 1973/2008. Copy after the oiginal, 2008.
"Hyperbulie", 1973. Photographs of action.

In the Video Archive:

"Orgasmus", 1966, 1:30min
"TAPP und TASTKINO", 1968, 2:00min
"...Remote...Remote...", 1973, 10:00min
"Hyperbulie", 1973, 6:49min
"Asemie", 1973, 7:20min


Charim Galerie, Wien