Unsichtbare Gegner

© Generali Foundation Collection—Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg © Bildrecht, Photo: Werner Kaligofsky


Unsichtbare Gegner, 1976

Feature film, 16mm, color, sound, 112 min Director: VALIE EXPORT supported by Peter Weibel Cast: Dominick Dusek, Monica Helfer-Friedrich, Edward Neversal, Dr. Josef Plavec, Helke Sander, Herbert Schmid, Peter Weibel, Susanne Widl a.o. Photography: Wolfgang Simon Script: Peter Weibel supported by VALIE EXPORT, based on an idea by VALIE EXPORT Produced by: VALIE EXPORT


Artwork text

Mannerist gestures of a deviant and crumbling identity when a person seeks to evade compulsive structures and detrimental forms of communication. Female body language, which rejects role behavior while recognizing the message: like a lead weight of fear forcing one to glide down the glass walls of phone booths with one’s skin. A deep lesion, when the difference between onlooker and what is being looked on dissolves, when what is depicted in the mirror reveals a mask which she has already left behind. Observing oneself like someone unknown: A deep desire for ultimate identification. When sentences are spoken, depleted of general meaning, when all lights are switched off and from behind a dark abyss opens up, never to return again, when, in weeping, the lost self cannot separate, when children become enemies, then the idea is no longer to test a theory of existence but to salvage individuation, bare existence in a reality of senseless destruction (even at the price of isolation). A communication, the vehicle of hatred, is opposed by a reaction of vulnerability. When dreams and sleep, the storage bed of unconscious thought protocols become the site of battle and an imminent rupture of all found images, then we see the real image in the rupture, the drama of human self-realization. Searching for home the hangman’s noose is placed around our own neck. (VALIE EXPORT)

Lending history
1995 Vienna, AT, Österreichisches Filmmuseum