Body Sign Action. 1970
In a live performance on 2 July 1970, that took place in Frankfurt (Germany), the Austrian artist VALI EXPORT had a garter tattooed on her thigh.
VALI EXPORT is one of the founders of contemporary media art in Europe. Over the decades her multimedia work develops performance and feature film, film live action, experiments with camera and “Expanded Cinema“, installation and video, photography and recently digital photography. In the sixties she was the only woman among the Vienna Group of action artists. Moreover, as a woman artist under the influence of at the time emerging feminist thinking she was using her own body and overtly showing female sexuality in order to provoke moral standards and public order, gender discrimination and dominant patriarchal discourse.
Body Sign Action is a powerfully example of the body’s sign function: the body as field of inscription by a social code. The garter is used as as sign of past enslavement, as a symbol of repressed sexuality. At the same time, art is irrevocably engraved on her body.
All her works on http://www.valieexport.org/