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Valie Export/Peter Weibel: Multimedial feminist art

Valie Export/Peter Weibel: Multimedial feminist art

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Published by: stridura on Jan 12, 2011
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01/13/2013

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VALIE EXPORT/PETEREIBEL
Multimedialeministart
THCMASDREHER
EXPANDEDCINEMAln1968,heyear of its founding,he UndependentFilmCenterinMunichorganizedhe FrrstEuropeanMeetrngoflndependentFilmmakers.BirgitHein writes',Thenecessarypublicityforthe wellvrsitedcrnema eventswasprovrdedby thespectacularpresentatronsofValreExport's Tupp-und TastfrlmGrope andTouchFilm)andPeter Weibel'sactionExit'.lInExit, Weibelprojecteda filmonto atin foilscreen,untilhe interruptedhepresentationy physicallyhreateningthe audienceromthe cinema'stage,hesite of thepresentation:ocketbodiesnstead fmotion pictures.2Withthe expulsionromthecinema n Exit,Weibelturnedvoyeurismgainsttsownpremises:ggressionndcuriositycoupled na phallocraticexuality hich placesitselfat thedisposalfthefemininebecameopposingqualitiesntheexpulsion romthe cinema.ln Tapp-undTastkrno,Exportplaceda boxover her headto cover herexposedbreasts;he open frontofthe boxwascoveredby a curtain.Theactionakingplaceonstagebecame nvisiblendtangible,s opposedo the visible,intangiblelimmerofthe cinema.Exportinvitedpassers-byto gropethroughhe curtainor 12seconds.ssoon asapasser-6ycceptedhe offer,the artisturned herheadothe sideokeeprack of thetime, Afterthetimewasup,Export lookedat the personouching erandindicatedthat the actionhadcometo anend. Exportsubjugatedpassers-byo a disciplineftime, whichsubordinatedhesub.lectiveenseof touchto anobjective ramework.Export circumventedhetabooofvisualexual ttractionin publicplaces. ypubliclyresentingemalebodypartsnaked,but notvisuallyo,she correctedhesexualprojection ields,whichare establishedisually,ut nottactily,6y mass eproductions:pectacular'object-images'('irages-objets')3,hicharousecuriosity,erenotpresent,By meansofthetactile,Exportcircumventedrestrictiveodesandthen re-introducedhem6y meansofthe disciplineftime:restrictiveodesare,on atactilelevel,considerablyorethreateningorthebody andone's sensef hisorherownbody than visualoding,butalsoessubtle.FEATUREFILMSBeginningn197,Exportand Weibelransformdönouementmodelsofthe featureilm genrebymeansofmontageechniques,reamsequences,ndpictorialmediainthepictorialmedium,o makestatementsroma
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ValreEXPORTaus.ValreExport.Wienl9BBTapp-undTastkrno, 968EinentermedtaleKunstlerrn.
 
feminist tandpoint,which, until hen,hadbeeneither rareor impossiblenthisgenre.ln ascenerom thefilmUnsichtbareGegner(lnvisibleAdversary),whichExport and Weibelrealized ogethern1976177,nna and Peter communicatewith oneanotherbothdirectlyand, simultaneously,y meansofmonitors.4ln 1984, n Die Praxisder Liebe (ThePracticeof Love),Export filmsa monitor-quarreletweenJudithandDr.JosefFrischkoff.nlyJudiths present.sBoth scenesredeterminedbycriseswithin arelationship.n bothcases,themonitor-image f themasculineartbecomesindependentf the actor;and in eachcase,hemaleimageexplicateshefoundering f therelationship.ln both of theseeature ilms,eproductivemedia,suchasphotography nd video,which arepresented nthefilm aspart of the action,place'viewers f thefilmin therole oftheobserver,who observe he(observedandobserving)observersnthefilm as they observe.The observedandobservingemaleobserversnthefilm becomeemaleprotagonistsor viewersof both sexes:ustäs, n thefilm,theactressattempts toorient herselfbetweentheimaginary,he symbolicnd thereal, he viewerattemptstoorienthis or herselfbetweenhis or her ownprojections,hefilm worldand therealcircumstancesfthepresentation,nd theprojectionnthecinema.M ULTIMEDIA-PE FORMANCEStimmenaus demlnnenraum(Voicesrom theInterior)wasproduced as a commissionor theArs Electronicandpresentedn lgBBattheBrucknerhausn Linz.The'medialstructure'was realizedy Exportand Weibel.During heperformance, usanneWidldressed p as UnicaZürn,MaeWest, Mary Shell"y,AugustaAda Byron(Countess fLovelace)ndLindaLovelace. ^/idlworkedwithpropsandgestures,which were characteristicorthewomenbeingpresented.Excerptsrom documentsof the fivewomenwere readby Widl onto an audio-cassetteeforetheperformance ndplayedoverloudspeakersogetherwith compositions yPatriciaunger.hetextsdemonstratedow much he feministoppositionsstillaconsequencendtherefore,althoughmore negative,mirrorofpatriarchaltructures.Computergraphicsn slides nd videossplitup digitalizedimages rom Widl'simpersonationsf famouswomen invariousways:Fromthelimitednumber of shotsof Widl'sperformance,Muki Pakesch video)and H.W, Pangratz(slides)enerated mages,whichranged romreconstructionsf the socialole of the womenpresentedtoallusions,ocompletely ree combinationsfimages.The videoswerepresentedehindhe actressnserialsequencesn aportablemulti-monitor-wall,hich coveredalmosthe entire backwall. Fourelectronicallyoupledprojectorspresented lidesexttoand over eachotheron the backwall of theroom.INTERMEDIALALLEGORICALPROCEDURESTheperformanceStimmen ausdem lnnenraumreconstructs heavant-gardemethod of montagewiththeatricalnd electronicmediamedia,which are olderandyoungerhanmontagetself.Montageas arecombinationf decontextualizedetpieces eads oAllegoricalProcedures6,oallusionsoworld conditions na stateofupheaval.he allegoricalnmontageprocessesrangesrom historyina stateof d ecayTo a Vitallyprogressivehistory ofhumankinds: uiningenot only allowsthatwhichhas becomestatic otumble down,it alsoproduces hedynamicnecessaryor changewithoutconstitutingnewconception f theworld through hecontradictoryrelationshipof heterogeneousartst].InStimmenaus demlnnenrauffi,Exportand Weibelchoosesuchcode-fragmentsf the feminine,which revealthemselvess ruinsof collapsedatriarchalonceptions f
PeterWEIBEL OnJustifyingheHypotheticalNatureofArt and theNon-ldenticalitywithin theObjectWorld.lmage of theWorld of Language,1992 CourtesyGalerieTanjaGrunert,Köln
 
theworld.Computergraphicsnergize heintercoursewith thesignsof decay: static contrasts betweenpatriarchalocietyand futile femininecounter-movementsbecome eministprocessesf transformation,a dialecticftransformer and transformed.ln Stimmen,an intermedialmontages constitutedby themutual referencebetweenthreelevels:a.)A llvingbody(actress).b.)Masqueradef the actressa.)fora simulation f rolesin realspace.The roles refer to referencepointsnpastreality:Thepastis re-enactedas the semblance f aformerly livingbeingwiththe help of accessones.c.) Electronic magesimulation, n which signsare rnfinitelyreproducibleandtransformableand signoperationsare reversible. he imagesimulation ombines ragments romb.) with each other as wellas with additionalelements.C.) receives functionhrough b.) that refers back tohistorical andicaps.hrough the infinite,unlimrtedpossibilitiesf transformation,which c.)presentsn facets,the historical rameworkof b.) is revealedasbeingimitedand restrictedby pre-codings.
ANAGRAMS
ln a text on the oerformanceStimmenaus oemlnnenraum,Weibelplacesmagesimulationn connectionwith the anagramsfUnicaZürntt:from the fountain-headsofone of the chosenwomenwho struggleagainsttheirpre-conditionedoles-theonly one to haveputanabruptend to her ownlife-Export and Weibeltakepossibilitiesor an alternativenterpretationof signs.Syllables,oundsand letters canbe substrtutedn anagramswithoutregard or their semantics:n anagrams,onomatopoeicexpressions ndnumerous otherlinguistictricks, theword, the syllable and thesound strut,emancipatedfrom every semanticassociation,as a thing,whichmaybeallegorically exploited.tzAccordingo Weibel, withreference o thedolls of HansBellmer,who was married toZürn, the useof signswithout semanticestrictionsstranslatablentoananagrammaticismf the bodyt3.The doublerole ofBellmer's olls ofbeingsign-like ndrealsimultaneously,and thuspresentingsdead bodies an amalgamationfsign-formsnd sign-bearerswhich allows hemtobecomedeal bearersof wishfulphantasies,s, however,notreoeated n theoerformance.Bellmer'sdoll mechanicsis dividedntwo levels:n the masqueradeb.)and theimagesimulation f body setpieces c.),and both levelsarecreated with andrefertoa real body, toa femaleprotagonistu).Byplayinghroughapluralityofexemplaryemaleroles(b.),she runs up againstheborderof the transgressionf establishedole-norms,whilethe imagesimulationc.)has crossed heseborders.The'phallicignificant's, according oJacquesacan, hesourceof divisions n this sideof and beyonda borderra,whereby bothsidesare mirrorsof each other.Export andWeibel understanddivisionsngender-specificppositionalpairs,nanalogyo Lacan,as'binaryambivalences'ambivalentbecausehe binaryoppositionofmasculine-feminineefers o a masculineowerwhichproducesdichotomization.lshe fates of thewomen(b.),reconstructedbyWidl with theatricalmeans,stand oday
ValieEXPORTDie Praxrser Lrebe,9B4aus:ValieExport. Einentermedialeünstlerin,Wien l98B
for afeministnegationf thephallocraticowerthathadpreviouslyegatedhem.In theunrestrictedlectronicenerationf signs ..),self-referentialransformationsecomepossibleeyond'binaryambivalences'.hedifference etweenhe electronicgenerationf signs..) and the theatricalimulationfrolesb)cannotbedescribeds thedivision faphallocratic tructurentobinaryeatures,butratherastheyet tobe andalreadyrrivedat solutionf'binaryambivalences'.omputersimulationhematicizeshisseparationwith its spectrumromreconstructionsf socialhistory ofree combinations.POTLATCHTheconceptsign-function'tandsor a limitednumber ofpossibleays of coordinatingignswithmeaning poetic,emotive,eferential,mperative,haticand meta-linguistic),whileheconceptcode'standsor an accumulationfsigns,whichare coordinatedwith meanings.he signsreceiveheirmeaningnd their classifications elementsfacode throughuse.The anagrammaticismnStimmencontradictsunctionallinguisticnterpretations.n accordanceithJeanBaudrillard'singuisticriticism,hetypologyof sign-functionstselfmay beunderstoods an additionalrouPof signs,sone amongnfinitelyumerous odes,nsteadofasa fundamentalinguisticrinciple.audrillardoesnotacceptheway inwhichRomanJakobsonndJÜrgenHabermasattempttore-semantiize hesign-functionfpoeticde-semantizationl6yintegratingt as a specialaseinto agroupwith semantiizing ign-functions.lThiswoulddomesticatehepowerof self-referentialign-forms,hichburstsopensemantizationrocesses:e poötrqueestirröductibleau modedesignifrcatron,ui n'estque lemode
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