Born in Linz (Austria) in 1940, VALIE EXPORT lives in Vienna.Read More
After attending the Arts and Crafts College in Linz (1956–1959), she enrolled at the Design Department of the Higher Federal Teaching and Research Institute of the Textile Industry in Vienna, where she studied from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, she decided on the name VALIE EXPORT as an artistic concept and logo. In 1967 she co-founded the Austrian Filmmakers’ Cooperative in Vienna, and took part in many important international exhibitions, including documenta 6 and 12 (1977 and 2007) and the Biennale di Venezia 1980 for the Austrian Pavilion. VALIE EXPORT has taught at numerous international institutions, including the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (USA), The San Francisco Art Institute and the University of the Arts in Berlin. From 1995/1996 until 2005 she was professor for Multimedia-Performance at the Media Art Academy in Cologne. In 2000 the artist was awarded the Oskar Kokoschka Prize and in 2014 she received the Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts.
In the Expanded Cinema works, VALIE EXPORT developed her performative approach in a radical actionist way. Being herself the protagonist, she experimented radically with the limits of cinema. In her cinematic actions she broke away from the usual passive reception characteristic of the medium. Ping Pong (1968) was awarded a prize as the most political film shown at the second Maraisiade in Vienna. At the award presentation, EXPORT performed, for the first time, her legendary body action TAP and TOUCH CINEMA (1968), in which she raised the issue of how the female body is being turned into an object in the media. EXPORT is a self-declared media artist and is a pioneer in this regard, both in her cinematic and video work. In a series entitled Body Configurations [Körperkonfigurationen] (1972–1982), she approached the issue of the relationship between a constructed body language and the surrounding urban space. She has continued her taboo-breaking, socially critical work since the late 1980s, in her involvement with digital technologies.
With the purchase of VALIE EXPORT's premature legacy, the VALIE EXPORT Archive was founded in Linz in 2015. Thus the City of Linz has laid the foundation for a VALIE EXPORT Centre, an international research centre for media and performance art.
Text courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
Born Waltraud Lehner in Linz in 1940, VALIE EXPORT was inspired by the branding of Smart Export cigarettes to modify her nickname Walie alongside Export, thus exporting new ideas to new grounds. Written in capital letters, her own bold branding rejected the name of both her father and former husband, and catalysed one of the earliest waves of...