Author(s): BUCHMANN SABETH
Having quickly tired of life as an editor and extra in the Austrian film industry, in 1967 Waltraud Hollinger changed her name to Valie Export and plunged into the violent and often blood-soaked world of Viennese performance art and the extremist "Actions" of Hermann Nitsch, Gunter Brus, Otto Muhl and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. Like them, Export subjected her body to pain, but where their work was inevitably drawn towards a religious idea of catharsis, Export politicized the inscription of women's bodies in terms of media representation, declaring her project as explicitly feminist. Export soon turned to video to record her performances and began to remove her person from her work, as in her now-famous 1971 video "Facing a Family." Today, across more than four decades of activity, Export has built a large and rigorous oeuvre comprising performance, photography, film and media installations. This volume surveys her career.