VALIE EXPORT was born in 1940 in Linz, Austria. VALIE EXPORT is a multifaceted and politically committed artist who began her career in the 1960s-1970s under her real name, Waltraud Lehner Hollinger, using various mediums such as performance, video and photography to investigate the condition of women. In 1967, she decided to adopt the name of a brand of cigarettes, Smart Export – the symbol of virility par excellence – in an act of provocation and emancipation with regard to her father. “I wanted my own name,” she explains.
This new identity, written in capital letters, made her as strong as others, as male others. Since then, she has used her body as an artistic medium, in particular in her performance Tap and touch cinema, in which she invites spectators to come touch her breasts, which are concealed by a box in the shape of a television. She thus explores the status of women in film and, more generally, the hold that social codes have over our bodies, in particular through her series Body Configurations in which she challenges the patriarchal architecture.
Her work was included in the exhibition 'Untitled, 2020' (2020) at Punta della Dogana.