VALIE EXPORT The Photographs
VALIE EXPORT – The Photographs is the first exhibition to focus on the photographic oeuvre of VALIE EXPORT (b. 1940), whose at times provocative performances and experimental installations have been a source of controversy. Her photographs and the juxtaposition of photographic and non-photographic media at the juncture of film, video art and body art offer viewers a new perspective on the artist’s work.
Photography plays a key role in the creative output of the media and performance artist – be it for documentary or experimental purposes, as an element in her multimedia installations or as stand-alone works. Right at the start of her career, in the 1970s, EXPORT began producing photographic series centring on the critical examination of processes of representation. Her conceptual photographs analyse how images and mass media operate and the ways in which they are enacted and perceived.
EXPORT’s experimental approach probes photography from different angles, breaking through the boundaries separating different media genres. This may involve the distinctive features and elements of other media and art forms being integrated into her photographic work or the camera being used in ways that to some extent run athwart its technical possibilities. In the process, the artist examines sociopolitical and feminist issues: at the heart of her work is the relationship between subject and space, between body and gaze, between femininity and representation.
Curated by Walter Moser, the exhibition is staged in cooperation with Vienna’s Albertina Museum.