VALIE EXPORT

Retrospective
Jan 27 – May 21, 2024
Action Pants: Genital Panic, 1969, Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac © VALIE EXPORT, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023; Photo: Peter Hassmann © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

This exhibition recognizes the complex oeuvre of VALIE EXPORT (b. 1940), one of the twentieth century’s most influential media and performance artists in the world, who intrepidly challenged social norms and role models with her media-reflective practice and critical feminist perspective.

VALIE EXPORT – SMART EXPORT, Selbstportrait, 1970
VALIE EXPORT – SMART EXPORT, Self-Portrait, 1970, The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna © VALIE EXPORT, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023; Photo: Gertraud Wolfschwenger © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Injuries I, 1972, The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna – The ESSL Collection © VALIE EXPORT, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023; Photo: Hermann Hendrich

Presenting works created between 1966 and 2009, the exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of VALIE EXPORT’s career. A filmmaker, performance artist, and media artist who is now celebrated as an icon of feminist art, EXPORT caused a sensation with her actions in public space in the late 1960s. The retro-spective covers a wide range of works from her provocative “expanded cinema” actions, symbolic performances, and analytical conceptual photography to multimedia installations and urban interventions. The works reflect the multifaced development of an artist whose works are still topical and serve as important points of reference for sociopolitical investigations today.

The exhibition presents many of EXPORT’s pioneering works, including TAPP und TASTKINO (Touch Cinema, 1968), one of the early “expanded cinema” actions in which the artist strapped a box to her naked chest as a “movie theater” and invited passersby to touch her breasts for a precise length of time, challenging notions of the voyeuristic gaze on the female body. The legendary action Aus der Mappe der Hundigkeit (From the Portfolio of Doggedness, 1968) is also shown, in which EXPORT walked through the center of Vienna with Peter Weibel, her partner at the time, on a leash like a dog to challenge traditional gender issues and analyze human behavior by means of animal comparisons.

TOUCH CINEMA, 1968, The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna – The ESSL Collection © VALIE EXPORT, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023; Photo: Werner Schulz
BODY SIGN B, 1970, The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna © VALIE EXPORT, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023; Photo: Gertraud Wolfschwenger © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

VALIE EXPORT’s multidisciplinary oeuvre eludes attributions and classifications, transcending the limitations of media and genres. In addition to her own body, her work involves photography, drawings, videos, and installations. One focus of the exhibition is the relevance of photography in the artist’s work. Photography occupies a central position, regardless of whether it is treated as a means of documentation, as an experiment, or as an independent work. EXPORT explicitly expresses her analysis of mass media and processes of illustration as feminist criticism to examine the role of women, their social marginalization, and the representation of the female body in a patriarchal society.

Aus der Mappe der Hundigkeit, 1968, Gemeinsam mit Peter Weibel, Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac © VALIE EXPORT, VG Bild- Kunst, Bonn 2023; Foto: Joseph Tandl

VALIE EXPORT . Retrospective offers the first comprehensive solo presentation of the artist’s complex work to be held in an institutional context in many years. The exhibition is curated by guest curator Walter Moser (ALBERTINA, Vienna) in collaboration with Boaz Levin (C/O Berlin Foundation). It was previously presented at the ALBERTINA Museum in Vienna and at the Fotomuseum Winterthur. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog.

Biography

VALIE EXPORT (b. 1940, Austria) is one of the leading pioneers in the international field of Conceptual media art, performance, and film. After studying at the School for Arts and Crafts in Linz, she graduated from the Technical College of the Textile Industry in Vienna in 1964. In 1967 she created her pseudonym, written in all capital letters, to take on a new identity and liberate herself from the names of her father and her ex-husband. Her oeuvre involves videos, installations, performances, films, works of “expanded cinema,” and Conceptual photography. Early on, she curated exhibitions with a feminist focus such as MAGNA: Feminismus; Kunst und Kreativität (MAGNA: Feminism; Art and Creativity) in 1975. EXPORT has participated in international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale (1980), documenta 6, documenta 12, the Kochi Biennale (2018), and the Moscow Biennale (2019). Her works have been presented in numerous solo and group shows, including those at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate Modern, London. Her works are part of many of these collections. She has taught at the Art Institute in San Francisco, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and the University of Art in Berlin, among others. VALIE EXPORT has been a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin, Visual Arts Section since 2003 and held a professorship for multimedia performance at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne until 2005. The VALIE EXPORT Center in Linz was founded in 2015.

CHATS & TRACKS

Entdecke unseren neuen Podcast CHATS & TRACKS. In dieser Folge spricht Moderatorin Johanna Schmidt von ByteFM mit VALIE EXPORT

VALIE EXPORT reflektiert über die Entwicklung des Feminismus im Laufe der Zeit und wirft einen Blick auf eine Phase, in der er zwar in Frauen- und Modezeitschriften präsent war, jedoch im realen Leben nicht ausreichend verankert schien. Sie spricht über ihre künstlerischen Werke, darunter das TAPP und TASTKINO sowie die Aktionshose: Genitalpanik, und beleuchtet, wie diese damals von der Öffentlichkeit wahrgenommen wurden. VALIE teilt außerdem ihre Gedanken zu aktuellen Themen wie dem gesellschaftlichen Wandel und betont die Bedeutung von Kunst, soziale und politische Zustände zu präsentieren. Sie hofft darauf, dass Kunst Utopien in sich trägt.

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