At age twenty-eight, Waltraud Hollinger changed her name to VALIE EXPORT, in all uppercase letters, to announce her presence in the Viennese art scene. Eager to counter the male–dominated group of artists known as the Vienna Actionists—including Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler—she sought a new identity that was not bound by her father's name (Lehner) or her former husband's name (Hollinger). Export was the name of a popularcigarette brand. This act of provocation would characterize her future performances, especially TAPP und TASTKINO (TOUCH and TAP Cinema) and Aktionhose: Genitalpanik (Action Pants:Genital Panic). Challenging the public to engage with a real woman instead of with images on a screen, in these works she illustrated her notion of "expanded cinema," in which film is produced without celluloid; instead the artist's body activates the live context of watching. Born of the 1968 revolt against modern consumer and technical society, her defiant feminist action was memorialized in a picture taken the following year by the photographer Peter Hassmann in Vienna.VALIE EXPORT had the image screenprinted in a large edition and fly–posted it in public spaces.
Gallery label from Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980, September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016.