VALIE EXPORT, «Eros/ion»

eros ion

VALIE EXPORT’s «Eros/ion», 1971.

«Eros/ion»  was seen by EXPORT as an action in which the body is employed as carrier and transmitter of signs/traces for a semantic analysis by means of a body demonstration.

«Eros/ion», says EXPORT, ” investigates the relationship between social signs and body, the relationship between culture and body, material and body. First I roll about in broken glass, body cutting by screen, and then on the glass plate, finally on a paper screen. The marks produced on my skin-screen by the splinters of glass leave informal, painterly traces on the paper screen. The splinters are transformed into signs by this reduction into traces of an aesthetic process on the body. Identity of signs and carrier material. The art context as a condition of reality. The socially prescribed significance of the material – meaning and image as material – is transformed and overcome”.

Shortly before this performance, EXPORT began to refer to her work as Media Aktionism. She wanted to use her body in a feminist and semiotic way. One of the motivating purposes behind «Eros/ion» was to put a new code on the naked body. Export tried to change the male gaze by showing her own body the way she wanted to, as opposed to what men were used to seeing women’s bodies.

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