VALIE EXPORT was born in Linz, Austria in 1940. After attending the Arts and Crafts College in Linz between 1956-59, she enrolled at the Design Department of the Higher Federal Teaching and Research Institute of the Textile Industry in Vienna, from 1960-64. In 1967, she decided on the name VALIE EXPORT as an artistic concept and logo. She was co-founder, in 1967, of the Austrian Filmmakers’ Cooperative in Vienna, and took part in many important international exhibitions, among them the Documenta 6 in 1977 and the Biennale di Venezia, in 1978 and 1980 for the Austrian Pavillion. VALIE EXPORT taught at numerous international institutions, including the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA, and the University of the Arts, in Berlin. 1995/96 until 2005 she was professor for Multimedia-Performance at the Media Art Academy in Cologne. In 1995 the artist was awarded the Generali Foundation’s prize for sculptural works and in 2000 she became the recipient of the Oskar Kokoschka prize. VALIE EXPORT lives in Vienna.
In the "Expanded cinema" works, EXPORT developed her performative approach in a radical, actionist way. Being the actor herself, she experimented with the limits of cinema in drastic ways. In her cinematic actions she broke the usual passive reception characteristic of the medium. "Ping Pong" (1968) was awarded a prize as the most political film shown at the second Maraisiade in Vienna. At the award presentation, EXPORT performed, for the first time, her body action "TAP AND TOUCH CINEMA" (1968) where she raised the issue of the female body being turned into an object in the media. EXPORT is a self-declared "media artist" and is a pioneer in this regard both in her cinematic and video work. In a series entitled "Body Configuration Series" (1972- 82), she approached the issue of the relationship between a constructed body language and the surrounding urban space. She has continued her taboo-breaking, socially critical work since the late 1980s, in her involvement with digital technologies. As a focal point, along with the "TAP and TOUCH CINEMA", the Generali Foundation collects VALIE EXPORT’s video works, and has also restored her early film installations and for the first time made these available again to the public in an exhibition of her cinematic work in 1996. (Monika Vykoukal)