Performance and media artist VALIE EXPORT is a pioneer: early on, she scrutinized the role of women and the female artist with a feminist agenda in mind, pointing out how patriarchal structures painfully inscribe themselves into the female body. In EXPORT’s trailblazing oeuvre, the body is inseparably linked with its depiction in visual media. And indeed, her critical and deep-reaching analysis of the technical processes of visual portrayal exposes how mass media construct and establish gender-specific figurations of identity in the first place.
This exhibition ranges from EXPORT’s pioneering early feminist actions such as the TAPP und TASTKINO [Tap and Touch Cinema] (1968) to her provocative performances (ASEMIA – The Inability to Express Oneself through Facial Expressions, 1973) and multilayered installations (I [beat (it)] II, 1980) and on to the group of works known as the Body Configurations (1972–82), on which she worked consistently over many years. Whether for documentary purposes, as experimentation, or in the form of independent works, photography plays a central role in EXPORT’s feminist and sociopolitical inquiries. Interfacing with film, video, and body art, such photography permits new insights into the artist’s work, which stands out for the ways in which subject and space, performance and visual image, body and gaze, and femininity and representation interrelate. Besides some of EXPORT’s legendary works, including “TOUCH CINEMA” (1968), “Action Pants: Genital Panic,” or “BODY SIGN ACTION” (1970), the show presents works and installations for the first time that were especially realized for the ALBERTINA.
VALIE EXPORT: Retrospective
23 Jun 2023 - 1 Oct 2023
Albertina, Albertinaplatz, Wien, Österreich
VALIE EXPORT - SMART EXPORT Self-Portrait, 1970 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection | © VALIE EXPORT | Bildrecht, Wien 2023 | Photo: © Gertraud Wolfschwenger, Bildrecht, Vienna 2023