VALIE EXPORT. The Virtual Body. From the Prosthetic to the Post-biological Body

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n.b.k. Discourse Vol. 14 – VALIE EXPORT. The Virtual Body. From the Prosthetic to the Post-biological Body

Edited and with texts by Marius Babias and Sabine Folie.

248 pages, with color illustrations, soft cover, German/English, 19.80 Euro / 15.00 Euro (members), Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2020, ISBN 978-3-96098-857-1


VALIE EXPORT’s script The Virtual Body. From the Prosthetic to the Post-biological Body has been unearthed during the archival research for the exhibition VALIE EXPORT. Research – Archive – Oeuvre and has subsequently been carefully edited and richly annotated. Thanks to a joint effort by the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and the VALIE EXPORT Center Linz, this dense script, assembled from a universal collection of materials, can now be presented tot he public. VALIE EXPORT’s work was ahead of its time in its anticipation of the body’s emplacement in digital capitalism and the latter’s interactions with new media, artificial intelligence, and social media. One aspect of what makes The Virtual Body. From the Prosthetic to the Post-biological Body significant and worth studying is its insistence that, in the face of the symbolic instability of entertainment cinema, commercial TV, and digital broadcasting (YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms) that cannot articulate more than their utter disconnect from reality, expanded cinema still has something important to say about the contemporary world.

VALIE EXPORT (born in Linz in 1940; lives and works in Vienna) is considered one of the most important artists working in the fields of conceptual media art, performance art and film. She continues to have an ongoing influence on generations of up-and-coming artists with her feminist and media-critical works. Since the 1960s, she has created an extensive body of work that operates in the fields of performance, experimental film, expanded cinema and conceptual photography as well as addressing art history and feminism with objects and texts. In 2015, EXPORT received the Austrian Frauen-Lebenswerk-Preis (Women‘s Lifetime Achievement Award) as well as the Großes Goldenes Ehrenzeichen (Grand Gold Medal of Honor) of the City of Linz for her achievements in culture. Previously, her artistic practice had been honored with numerous other awards, among them the Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts (2014, together with Laurie Anderson, Marianne Faithfull, Gustav Metzger), the Österreichisches Ehrenzeichen für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, 2005), the Alfred Kubin Prize (2000), the Oskar Kokoschka Prize (2000) and the Gustav Klimt Prize (1998).