Series of pictures and videos | Commissioned by OÖ Landes-Kultur | 2020
“My artistic work centers on the human body as a medium of information, as a signal bearer of meaning and communication. I occupy myself with the pictorial representation of mental states, with the sensations of the body when it loses its identity when the ego gnaws its way through the scraps of skin when steel casings straighten the joints and the worn-out identity is nailed with steel pins to modern mythomania.” — VALIE EXPORT
ENTER PROMOCODE is a response to the projects “Body Configurations” and “The Birth Madonna”.
In “Body Configuration” VALIE EXPORT focuses on the place of women in public spaces trying to fit her body by curving, stretching, and forcing it in unnatural positions, in an architectural environment based on the male gaze. The power structures that VALIE EXPORT was unraveling are also present in social networks that are extensions of our current society. The first and foremost actor being the male gaze in these power structures, we can observe the same problematic patterns and symptoms in these platforms.
Almost hidden away by the algorithms that decide on what is shown to personalized feeds, the underlying power structure is a creeping omnipresence. While the overarching structures are still there, why circumnavigate around it to try and find an empowering stance?
If the goal is to go against these said structures, disrupting the comfortable flow of carefully curated imagery becomes a very effective method. Within this attention economy of consuming images, I disrupt by impressing and disgusting the user at the same time as VALIE EXPORT was doing throughout her artistic practice.