Body Politics

© Generali Foundation Collection—Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg © Bildrecht


Body Politics, 1974

Video documentation of the action at Schottentorpassage in Vienna Video, black and white, sound, 2 min 22 sec Performer: VALIE EXPORT Player: Hermann Hendrich Camera: Peter Weibel


Artwork text

In our society, the paths of inter-gender communication have been prescribed for us. Man and woman are anti-poles (active – passive, reason – sensuality etc.); opposite characteristics are often assigned to the concepts of man and woman. The result is that the relationship between men and women is not always happy, but often miserable, if not criminal. This situation and how its consequences come about can be made clear with bodily movements, which give physical form to the politics of behavior as imposed on men and women in our society. The escalator, consisting of an up escalator and a down escalator, is suitable for the purpose. In five phases, it shows the existing system of communication. Man and woman are bound to each other with a rope that they have tied around their bodies. Phase 1 and 2: opposition, phase 3 and 4: togetherness, phase 5: solitude. (VALIE EXPORT)

Lending history
2008 Bolzano, IT, Museion 2006 Leipzig, DE, Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst