Performerin: VALIE EXPORT
In a series of witty, minimalist exercises that are introduced by inter-titles, VALIE EXPORT explores the relationship between word and action.
Body Tape is about a series of banal daily actions performed as conceptual ges- tures with filmic intertitels (Touching, Boxing, Feeling, Hearing, Tasting, Push- ing) reminiscent of educational films. Here too, it is the reediting of language and action, both of the body and the medium, which is carried out, simulta- neously separating and unifying “cuts” or edits between the performance’s spatial structure and its perception by an audience. The artist gives directions from behind a screen or analogous sheet of glass used as a projection surface. The performative happening is thereby rigged by the unavoidable media images appearing on the monitor or projection surface, composed of a mon- tage of text and action.
Body Tape is a video made up of seven movements, each one representing a banal everyday activity.
VALIE EXPORT adopts a position characterised by shifts or discrepancies. Each conceptual gesture is introduced by inter-titles that indicate the verb she is about to illustrate – a didactic technique that brings to mind educational films. The artist gives instructions facing the camera, and a transparent glass screen is used as an intermediary projection surface that marks the separation between her body and the camera. The association of language with action (both the body and the medium) simultaneously separates the spatial structure of the performance from its perception. As literal as the actions may seem – licking the transparent surface to illustrate the verb to lick, sticking her ear against it to convey to listen, touching the glass screen with her hands, palms towards to the camera, for the verb to touch – above all, the real point of contact is in how the viewer receives the image.
Body Tape presents VALIE EXPORT´s conceptual experiments with time and space, and her exploration of language through video. She simply presents, without ever demonstrating things, thereby creating her own media and her own territories.