Die Praxis der Liebe

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


Die Praxis der Liebe, 1984

Feature film, 35mm, color, sound, 90 min Director: VALIE EXPORT Cast: Adelheid Arndt, Hagnot Elischka, Regina Fritsch, Traute Furthner, Wolfgang Kainz, Franz Kantner, Jürgen Lier, Paul Müller, Günther Nenning, Walter Schreiber, Elisabeth Vitouch, Rüdiger Vogler, Liane Wagner Photography: Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein Script: VALIE EXPORT Music: Stephen Ferguson Produced by: VALIE EXPORT, Filmproduction, Wien Königsmark & Wullenweber, ZDF


Artwork text

VALIE EXPORT’s third feature film is an anti-romance in which the main protagonist is torn between two relationships and gradually discovers that both are impossible. Not because subjective events of “love” are lacking but because the objective, social matrix here in which two lovers act is corrupt, immoral, and deadly. In this film the male world and its power structures do away with the possibility of love behind sexuality, i. e., the objectification of love. The “Practice of Love” shows Judith, a journalist, putting together the traces of a crime story—the mysterious death in a subway station near St. Stephan’s cathedral in Vienna—in which first one of her lovers and then also the other are implicated. Her study is a metaphor for social fixed points surrounding and penetrating all so-called personal relationships in today’s society. It seems fitting that the angle of the film often moves from Judith’s angle to the omniscient angle also including hers, since in today’s society at some point everyone is under surveillance. Important pieces of evidence are gained, for instance, from video tapes filmed by cameras in a subway station. Everywhere in the world of this film, pictures are documented, observed, transferred in comprehensive data systems—a passive documentation of life’s entirety, everywhere. (Gary Indiana)

Lending history
1995 Vienna, AT, Österreichisches Filmmuseum