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Time and Countertime

16 October 2010 to 30 January 2011
Lower BelvedereBelvedere

“A lying truth. Feedback feed. A recording is made of melting ice, and then played back in reverse on the monitor. The end of the recording = the beginning. Chunks of time. Flow of time. Time reversal. Time repetition. Time dissolution. Tension: time present / future / past.”
From VALIE EXPORT’s concept for the video-sculpture ZEIT und GEGENZEIT ( TIME and COUNTERTIME) (1973)
To pay tribute to the importance and topical relevance of VALIE EXPORT’s art, the Belvedere and the LENTOS are holding extensive solo shows at two locations: Vienna, where the artist lives and works, and Linz where she was born.
VALIE EXPORT is regarded as one of the most important pioneers of media art. In over four decades she has achieved a large and consistent oeuvre encompassing performance, action, photography, film, “expanded cinema”, sculpture, text, and media installation.
VALIE EXPORT’s works focus almost exclusively on critically addressing social and political subjects. They draw attention to constraints, violence, and aggression that cause physical and mental suffering. EXPORT was both celebrated and vehemently criticized for her feminist orientation and her tireless fight for an unbiased and gender-neutral assessment of themes addressed by the media. Works from her revolutionary early work like the Tapp- und Tastkino ( Touch Cinema), Aktionshose Genitalpanik ( Action Pants: Genital Panic), and BODY SIGN ACTION, are long-established icons of art history. It is EXPORT’s great achievement that she continuously finds topical themes for her chosen subjects and new, fitting modes of expression in great number and diversity.
The show focuses on VALIE EXPORT’s conceptual approach, which always starts out from the human body and revolves around the communicative and cultural codifications related to it. It is intentionally not chronological and, in keeping with the idea of “Countertime”, the selected works concentrate on the last twenty years, which include the large installations. Themes emerge from these works that refer to earlier artworks, demonstrating either a formal affinity or a continuation in terms of content. At the Belvedere the main focus is performative installations, including KALASHNIKOV (2007) and Fragmente der Bilder einer Berührung ( Fragments of Contact) (1994/2010), while the LENTOS is showing works with an emphasis on action, language, film, and film spaces that correspond with each other. For the Belvedere, EXPORT also created a new work: Die Doppelgängerin. This is a ca. 4.5-meter-high aluminium sculpture, which is exhibited in the Belvedere garden.
These simultaneous shows provide the opportunity to explore the artist’s entire oeuvre - they complement each other but can also be appreciated individually. A selection of exhibits will be presented at Museion - Museum für moderne und zeitgenössische Kunst Bozen from 19 February to 1 May 2011.
Angelika Nollert curated the presentations. She is director of the Neue Museum in Nuremberg and her exhibitions to date include solo shows of the artists Thomas Hirschhorn, Daniel Buren, Maria Eichhorn, Andreas Siekmann, Manfred Pernice, and Elke Krystufek.