new-york

Valie Export

Tanja Grunert Gallery

Given Valie Export’s undeniable achievement in directing attention toward the status of women within a “culture of male values” since the late 1960s, it is hard to credit her lack of recognition in this country. In 1967, the Austrian artist traded her given name (Waltraud Hollinger) for her current alias, signaling her intent to “export” ideas to the global marketplace. A year later, she performed the iconic Touch Cinema, inviting pedestrians to handle her breasts through a box resembling a primitive television set covering her torso. In the 1969 performance Action Pants: Genital Panic, she terrorized an audience at a Munich porn theater by roaming its aisles with an AK-47 while wearing a pair of jeans sans crotch. “Here’s the real pussy,” she reportedly taunted.

Export’s early actions challenged the acceptability of exploitative fantasy directed at the female body, as well as its construction

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