VALIE EXPORT b. 1940
1984's Syntagma replaces EXPORT with an actress. Once more, however, there's autobiographical thinking behind this as by this time, courtesy of various controversy and acclaim, she had become something of a media icon, an object if you will. Indeed, VALIE EXPORT is herself a creation for the art world, a persona assumed by Waltraud Lehner in the late sixties (with intentional capital letters, as per this review) which again blends the anonymous (EXPORT doesn't really exist…) and the material (…yet she very clearly has a physical presence as the early films show).
As such Syntagma concerns itself with the objective and the subjective, with self-awareness and the perception of and by others. Here our female subject (and again EXPORT uses intermittent nudity as means of underlining her femininity) is represented through various representations; her image being repeated, rhymed, echoed and divided through split screens. It's a testament to EXPORT's cinematic prowess – an element often forgotten in lieu of the body politics – that all of this is so persuasively handled and so concisely done. We're able to both see and see what is being seen as it were, yet with such a remarkable ease that it never feels over-theorised or overburdening.
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.