Close Up

27 October 2016: Adjunct Dislocations


“These short films represent a cross section of VALIE EXPORT’s films and videos: Sober desire; a self-portrait undergoing conscious transformation and exclusion from society; criticism of media commentary and its unconscious consumers; dependence on the family and its confining nature for children; the structural interest in time and space and the moving image’s potential for shifting and expanding perception; the statement on the world’s condition, made in this case in a shrill comedy; documentary material combined with the serial in an investigation of the city and private spaces; and finally (…), Syntagma, which combines EXPORT’s inimitable variety of filmic and videographic techniques with her feminist and actionist content.” – Brigitta Burger-Utzer

Interrupted Line
1971-72 | 9 min | B/W | 16mm  

“The middle line marking of the road is filmed through the windscreen of a moving car simultaneously with its own reflection in the driving mirror. The repeated interruptions of the space/time line are as big as a car. The car as a connecting link in time. The cinema as interruption of normal time flow.” – VALIE EXPORT

1983 | 18 min | Colour | 16mm  

“My work in the area of short film focuses on working out what is essential to a film, to define it as a self-sufficient and closed artistic system; so that I can make use of the single operators, such as image and sound and expand on their creative possibilities of association. The actual significant operators such as film strip, framing, image content, image construction, montage, movement of the camera, visual effects, the interaction of the visual with the audio, etc., are combined with the cultural codes to create a syntactic construction, out of which a film is born. Such thoughts also explain certain structures of my feature films. The film sequences themselves are real units, which are semantically related to one another.” – VALIE EXPORT  

“The striking insistence in Syntagma on the fragmented body of the woman, mute for the most part, has a twofold and seemingly contradictory impact. Fragmentation first appears to be the repetition of a trauma until, finally its frenetic pace turns into deliberate composition. In the traumatic sense, fragmentation reflects the epitome of objectification, an itemization of the goods: arms, legs, shoulders, breasts, faces, the depersonalized review of the chattel’s grade. The point is that while women may be objectified, they do not necessarily become objects.” – Roswitha Müller

Self-Portrait with Head
1966-67 | 1 min | B/W | DigiBeta  

“In her first film self-portrait, VALIE EXPORT wears an attention-getting curly wig and caresses a woman´s breasts in slow motion, then lasciviously closes and opens her eyes. The carefully applied makeup and wig tell of disguise and acting, and are simultaneously beautiful and terribly stony like the anonymous woman´s head. The brevity and slow speed are reminiscent of Andy Warhol´s Screen Tests, in which every single one of the face´s movements become visible.” – Brigitta Burger-Utzer

Facing a Family
1971 | 5 min | B/W | Beta SP  

“In the TV action Facing a Family, two families sit opposite each other. One is on TV, the other at home. A camera superimposes the reactions of the living room family onto the one on the screen, so that both families are not watching a show but rather the reactions of the other. In this work EXPORT is not only exploring the (re-)production of reality through and in the medium of television, but at a very early stage also incorporates the reactions of the audience in this process of constitution.” – Jens Kastner

Adjunct Dislocations
1973 | 10 min | B/W | Beta SP  

“This film deals with exploring one´s surroundings by means of the body, and the exploration of the surrounding body. Not only is something shown in this film, showing itself is shown, not only is something portrayed, portrayal itself is portrayed. A sense of space is created in a way possible only with film: seeing oneself from the front and back simultaneously, from above and below, and from outside in the center of the space. The film combines opposite parts of the space, which form the body´s imperceptible time-space continuum. Space is carried along, just like the camera.” – VALIE EXPORT  

Ein perfektes Paar oder die Unzucht wechselt ihre Haut
1986 | 12 min | Colour | Beta SP

“This video film shows indecency in its modern form. While peddling naked female flesh was considered indecent in the past, we can see by the examples of today´s star athletes that skin full of advertising sells better. The same applies to politicians, of course, though in a more subtle way. Advertising on skin as the new indecency!  

I consider this film to be a continuation of my previous work with the body as a vehicle for social codes. While in the past it was religion that dictated male and female behaviour, which was also expressed in their physical appearance, business has now assumed this role. Business dictates physical behaviour, physical pressure in its most direct form, and even sets standards for how our bodies are to be represented. Religion no longer prescribes morality, that is now done by the global power of business, with its products and codes. Morality has found a new patron.” – VALIE EXPORT

I Turn Over the Pictures of My Voice in My Head
2009 | 12 min | Colour | Beta SP  

"The rebellious voice, the split voice. The voice is suture, the voice is seam, the voice is cut, the voice is tear, the voice is my identity, it is not body or spirit, it is not language or image, it is sign, it is a sign of the images, it is a sign of sensuality. It is a sign of symbols, it is boundary. It speaks the ‘split body,’ it is hidden in the clothing of the body, it is always somewhere else. The breath of life is its source." – VALIE EXPORT  

"That the vocal organs visually rhyme with female genitalia, that when they are in use, they create a fascinating flow of movement and change, makes this work a compelling new iteration by an artist who has given voice to her female body through a myriad of frames." – Maureen Turim

Part of our season on VALIE EXPORT